Saturday 19 August 2017

When the Syrians don't want you, it's time to cut your losses

Syrian army soldiers and civilians inspect the damage at the site of an attack by two suicide bombers in Damascus, Syria March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Syrian army soldiers and civilians inspect the damage at the site of an attack by two suicide bombers in Damascus, Syria March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

'Yeah, I was offered a trip to Aleppo for Paddy's Day. Sounds great, but the wife wasn't keen. Doesn't look like I'll be able to make it."

So said a colleague a few weeks ago, and from that passing aside I found myself holed up in a Shia hotel in a religious part of Beirut for much of last week, awaiting the coveted visa which would get me into Syria.

It wasn't meant to go down like that. In fact, we'd been promised the visas had already been sorted - to the point where I was expecting to meet some senior Syrian Ministers to discuss the worst humanitarian crisis on the face of the planet.

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