By Wendy Pearlman and Loubna Mrie
March 1, 2018

The people of Ghouta have lived through a lot.

As the Damascus suburb joined protests against the regime of Bashar Assad during the Arab Spring, the government cracked down, and rebels took up arms. Regime forces were pushed out of the area in late 2012 and replied with a siege that prevented food, medicine and people from entering or leaving. In August 2013, a chemical-weapons attack on the enclave killed more than 1,400 civilians. In the years that followed, the siege tightened and aerial bombardment continued.

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This appears in the March 12, 2018 issue of TIME.


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