In the bazaar, a few surviving stalls are open selling sweets and sodas. Men drink tea outside workshops.
“Bashar al-Assad destroyed the mosques and old souks, one of the oldest souks in the world,” said Abu Othman, a fighter in the rebel Free Syria Army’s al-Tawheed Brigade, wearing the group’s green fatigues.
“We haven’t seen water and electricity in two months,” he said. “It’s as if this man has enmity between himself and the ruins: the souks and the mosques. And even with the sellers. Because they did not hail his oppressiveness, he got his revenge by burning all their property.”