Tree-lined boulevards, quaint neighbourhoods, historic mosques and lush parks. And in the background an atmospheric cover of… the Game of Thrones opening credits.
This is Aleppo according to the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, which just released a promotional video in a bid to lure tourists to the country’s second city.
What better way than evoking an extremely popular (and bloody) HBO TV show which revolves around a violent civil war?
The promo omits the rebel-held besieged eastern part of the city, which in the past week alone was hit by 2,000 Syrian and Russian bombs.
It opts instead for GoT-style aerial shots of leafy streets and inspiring minarets.
The video was released after one of Aleppo’s largest hospitals, located in the eastern Sakhour neighbourhood, was knocked out of service by airstrikes.
Around 250,000 people live with daily airstrikes, as witnessed by Bana Al-Abed, a 7-year-old who took to Twitter to denounce her family’s appalling conditions under the bombs.
The UN says at least 320 civilians have been killed since the Assad government announced its offensive Sept. 22.
France 24 has produced a video showing the real side of Aleppo:
It is not the first time that the Assad government has tried to entice tourists with propaganda videos.
Last month, it published astonishing footage from the Mediterranean resort city of Tartus:
The Associated Press contributed reporting.