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Syrians preserve prized Arabian horses amid war

In the face of ongoing war, Syrians who breed Arabian horses have banded together to keep their profession alive.

ALEPPO, Syria — Unsurprisingly, the war in Syria has negatively impacted the breeding of purebred Arabian horses, particularly in areas under the control of the armed opposition in the Aleppo and Idlib countryside. As the government of President Bashar al-Assad has bombed horse-breeding facilities, and given the lack of many essential medicines and vaccines to provide standard care, the number of such horses has considerably decreased. Despite the difficulties facing breeders, they continue to exert significant effort to protect their horses and make do with the modest resources at hand.

Al-Monitor met with Sanad Haj Hassan, owner of Stables of Sham al-Araban, in the opposition-controlled town of Kafr Halab, in Aleppo’s western countryside. He stables 16 trained purebred Arabian horses and nine colts that are still being trained. His operation covers some 10 acres and includes a training track and the requisite stalls and storage areas for food.

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