Syria plunged into darkness: Satellite images show how 83% of lights have gone out

Four years of conflict has left the country in almost complete darkness

Heather Saul
Thursday 12 March 2015 12:01
Mustaf Kiyiobeishi, 72 years old from the Syrian village of Hama.
Mustaf Kiyiobeishi, 72 years old from the Syrian village of Hama.

Satellite images highlight the devastation caused by four years of conflict in Syria, with most of the country now plunged into darkness.

Eighty-three per cent of the lights have gone out in Syria as a humanitarian crisis continues to grip the country, according to scientists at the Wuhan University in China.

In Aleppo, one of the cities hardest hit by civil war and Isis’s insurgency, a staggering 93 per cent of the city is now in the dark.

Satellite images of Syria in 2011

The research was conducted by academics in co-operation with the WithSyria coalition of 130 non-governmental organisations.

Satellite images of Syria in 2015

The images are even more stark when you zoom in on the north of the country

Eleven million civilians have been displaced by a conflict that has killed 200,000 more. An estimated 75,000 people died in 2014 – the bloodiest year since fighting broke out in 2011.

A third of refugees remain internally displaced while others have fled to Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, said: "Four years since this crisis began, Syria's people have been plunged into the dark: destitute, fearful, and grieving for the friends they have lost and the country they once knew."

The images come as international powers were accused of failing victims in Syria in the year after the UN Security Council Resolution 2139 was adopted.

The resolution called for "an urgent increase in access to humanitarian aid in Syria" and demanded that "all parties immediately cease attacks against civilians, end arbitrary detention, kidnapping and torture, and lift sieges of populated areas".

However, a report by humanitarian agencies found the resolutions and the hope created by them "have rung hollow" for citizens in Syria.

It concluded: "In the 12 months since Resolution 2139 was passed, civilians in Syria have witnessed ever-increasing destruction suffering and death."

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