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Now Syria Is Trying To Sell Itself As A Vacation Paradise

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Disregard the bombed-out cities, the tens of thousands of dead, and pay no heed to the images of battered little boys who stare blankly from the back of ambulances. In Syria, life can still be a (blood-free) beach—at least according to a new government-sponsored campaign.

The Assad regime released a tourism video this week touting its war-ravaged country’s palm trees, sandy shores, and turquoise ocean water. Set to a pulsing remix of Alan Walker’s Faded, the promo captures a rollicking beach scene near what appears to be the coastal town of Tartus. There are sunbathers, swimmers, and a large number of people cruising around on jet skis. Absent are the barrel bombs, leveled neighborhoods, and state-sanctioned massacres that have punctuated Syria’s civil war, now in its sixth year.

It’s like some kind of perverse parody,” Ben Davies, a Syria analyst in the United Kingdom, told Vocativ.

The U.S. government described it in more forcible terms. A State Department official told Vocativ: “The Syrian regime’s reported promotion of tourism at a time when innocent civilians, including women and children, are being bombed and starved by that very regime is nothing more than an affront to human decency.”

Incidentally, Islamic State militants killed more than 120 people in a wave of suicide attacks in Tartus and nearby Jableh in May. – READ MORE

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