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Homs: From Syria's Leafy, 'Most Welcoming City' To A Rubble-Strewn Town Riddled With Bullets

28/08/2015 14:48 BST | Updated 28/08/2015 14:59 BST

In just seven years, the Syrian city of Homs has changed from a "wonderful place", with leafy parks and gardens, to a mass of rubble since the civil war broke out in 2011.

The juxtaposition between the two landscapes is striking when you compare Lonely Planet's description back in 2008 to images of the war-torn city today.

Michael Crowley, a senior foreign affairs correspondent at Politico, tweeted the extract from the Lonely Planet travel guide.

The extract read: "These days, its Christian neighbourhood is one of Syria's most welcoming and relaxed, and Homs' citizens are some of the country's friendliest.

"That, combined with the city's myriad leafy parks and gardens, sprawling al fresco coffee shop, outdoor corn-on-the-cob stands and restored souq where artisans still work, make Homs a wonderful place to kick back for a couple of days."

The Syrian Civil War left Homs a shell of the city it once was.

It became known as the "capital of the revolution" and most of the city fell under the control of the opposition against Bashar al-Assad after 2011.

Government forces managed to retain control of most of the city over the next two years and in May 2014 the United Nations brokered a peace deal.

Crowley tweeted a devastating image of the city as it now stands.

Lonely Planet said that in 2008 there was a population of 823,000 people. Just a fraction of the city's population returned after the fighting stopped.

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