Dormant moving image maker with interests in music, film, games, politics and retro-tech. Any opinions expressed are my own.
Pictures by GRNlive war artist George Butler.
The border is almost entirely open. After walking 4km you are greeted by casually dressed men, who are the Free Syrian Army, at best one has a gun tucked in his belt. I am told 5 days ago that there was no such thing as a passport stamp here, which goes to show the newness of their control in the North of Syria. From here I was a guest of the FSA staying in their head quarters in Azaz and drawing as and when I could, which they welcome in an attempt to show the rest of the world the indiscriminate shelling and destruction carried out by the Syrian Army.
The fighting, in the centre of town at least, stopped here two weeks ago allowing the displaced to drift back in, finding their shops had caught in the crossfire, raided or their houses shelled. The main damage though lies on the road running to the Turkish border town of Kilis. 5 destroyed tanks, a blown up lorry, a mosque with one side missing and grenaded shop fronts, now blocked up with stones to protect what little remains inside. The most shocking thing, perhaps, children playing as they do, in amongst the tanks and the rubble - this has obviously become normal for them and with the schools now shut in Azaz this is unlikely to change.