July 18, 2013

HOW THE CIVIL WAR IN SYRIA turned ordinary engineers into DIY weapons-makers.

The conflict in Aleppo, like the wider civil war in Syria, has been mired in stalemate for more than a year. The rebels moved into the country’s largest city in the late summer of 2012, seizing nearly two-thirds of it within a couple of weeks. Since then, though, regime and rebels have stayed locked in grinding urban warfare. The business of Aleppo’s inhabitants has become violence—and Abu Yassin has bent his unusual ingenuity to that task. A former network engineer, he has become one of Aleppo’s premier bomb makers, part of a burgeoning homemade-weapons industry that has sustained the Syrian revolution. Yassin’s factory inside the abandoned school churns out hundreds of pounds of explosives every day, and he is constantly seeking to innovate ways of killing people.

This will end well, I’m sure.

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