One would be hard pressed to imagine any sane person greenlighting the above tourism video, yet here it sits in pristine condition. The Syrian Ministry of Tourism has released a stunning new promo clip to reel in tourists to its most talked about city of the season. Uh … that would be Aleppo, which has become the target of daily airstrikes of an accelerating nature. Hell, a hospital on the rebel-held side of the city was just barrel bombed more than once to ensure its full destruction. Yet the video presents sweeping views of the city’s government-held portion, which promises a beautiful and luxurious travel experience as enhanced by HBO’s Game of Thrones theme music.
Naturally, the move has drawn criticism from a cable news-watching public, who sees daily coverage of the failed ceasefire. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has broadcast his growing frustration over Russia’s refusal to stop plopping incendiary bombs onto residential areas and conducting airstrikes on aid trucks to halt humanitarian efforts. Folks — other than Gary Johnson — are rather aware of Aleppo’s plight, if for no other reason than a haunting viral photo of a shell-shocked child whose family home was destroyed.
The harsh reality of Aleppo, where fewer than 30 doctors remain, is not reflected in the above video. Granted, this isn’t the first glossy Syrian tourism video in recent months, but generally speaking, the ministry tends to stick with largely unaffected cities like Tartus, where there isn’t an outrageous layer of deception attached to what is essentially a sales video.