This is the third in a series of stories from Al-Monitor correspondent Fehim Tastekin, who has been traveling in Syria.
ALEPPO, Syria — As I was walking around the fortress of Aleppo last week, some officials were hoisting the Syrian flag. They insisted that I photograph it. One soldier saluted while others raised the flag. Next to a nearby staircase, a giant poster of President Bashar al-Assad was firmly planted. It was like a conquest celebration.