Aleppo's Limping Recovery Shows Limits Of Battered Syrian State

Aleppo's Limping Recovery Shows Limits Of Battered Syrian State

In eastern Aleppo, bodies still lie under the rubble, graveyards are full, people are short of electricity and bread, and some children take classes in mosques because their schools have been ruined by war.

In al-Kalasa district, which Reuters visited in both early February and mid-July with a government official who was present during some interviews with residents, the city's recovery seemed slow and largely out of state hands.

Electricity came from private generators, water from wells or tanks filled by aid agencies, bread from charities, and basic education and healthcare with help from the United Nations.

The government removed mountains of rubble from the main streets after the fighting, and Aleppo's assistant governor told Reuters the state was ultimately responsible for the services provided by aid agencies.

But in al-Kalasa, retaken in December amid a furious bombardment with help from Russia and Iran, signs of the state's presence were thin on the ground.

After six years of war, the Syrian state is in tatters. Large parts of the country remain outside its control. Western sanctions have hobbled the economy, water and power services are in ruins and road networks wrecked.