Taide’s Weblog

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Syria Military (no Pictures)

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It was autumn, 2007, and our flight with Turkish Airlines ended there, in Turkey. Service on board was so-so, but after debarkation, we experienced Turkish hospitality as usual, i. e. excellent, no matter how expensive or cheap the place.

Our route was far from the Turkish-Iraqi border, but these were the heydays of the Turkish offensive against the PKK in and about Northern Iraq – and of course, the military bases along our road were sporting patriotic hyperactivity too. The installations were almost camouflaged in dust clouds, and once in a while, Leopard A1 tanks made by Krauss Maffei and M 113 made by United Defense alternated with poor warriors dragging along their G3 rifles made by Heckler & Koch. It was pretty martial, and Blueland at its most convincing. The last walk-on of my own in such a show lay some 20 years behind me, but here, the old scenes were still with us.

Then came Syria, and only in Aleppo, there was military again. Somewhat shabby, but also cool somehow, with their vintage Barkas, old Kalashnikovs, and the officers, standing at the kebab booths, sporting handguns covered with flash rust at the bottoms of the magazines.
Blueland had looked much more ready for big action than this place. Hatay Province (Iskandaron) seemed far out of reach.

While Turkey´s equipment had been on the move with dustclouds rolling, the Mil Mi-24 helicopter (Hind) bases along the road in Syria looked more like showgrounds, openly presented to the streets, without camouflage or chip guard.
Not far from a historical site, a flak awaited foreign aggressions. We were asked not to take photos of the incredible monster cock, and we complied.

At Aleppo´s Archaeological Museum, a freelance guide lectured two somewhat embarrassed compatriots of mine about the recent “mindless terrorist (Israeli) air raid on an agricultural production site”. I was strolling through the aged artifacts and began wondering what, maybe, I had not seen along the road.

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Written by taide

March 30, 2008 at 10:06 am

Posted in Syria

Tagged with , ,

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