Moonscape. Desert. Blitz. The past 100 years of war have turned all our words into clichés. I rage at every reference to the Second World War – because it’s over, because Hitler is dead, because we won and because we shouldn’t dig up old graves to frighten future generations. But Beni Zeid is an exception.
It goes on for square miles and it is total destruction. This was the last great confrontation between the Syrian army and the Jabhat al-Nusrah fighters (yes, they are the Al-Qaeda of 9/11 infamy, although we have quite put that aside in our coverage of the Syrian war) as the door closed on eastern Aleppo and the siege of its people and defenders began this summer.