The ruins of the Sabbagh textile factory attests to the devastation visited on the economic infrastructure of Aleppo. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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The scene attests to the devastation visited on the economic infrastructure of Aleppo, Syria's most important industrial hub before the war, and the challenges facing any long-term plan to revive the city.The immense scale of destruction across swaths of the city and the ongoing war nearby mean any wider redevelopment of Aleppo or its industrial base is unthinkable for now.For President Bashar Assad, whose troops recaptured Aleppo in December, resurrecting the city is important not only for symbolic reasons but because of its status as Syria's economic heart.Looking out at night across east Aleppo, where rebels held out for four years, stars shine bright above a dark city deprived of electricity, almost entirely unlit but for a few car headlights.For all the destruction in east Aleppo and around the city fringes, however, most of western Aleppo is in good condition, the French colonial boulevards of Azizieh district playing host to smart cafes and restaurants that fill each evening.Turkey and the rebels have denied systematically looting Aleppo factories.
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