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Sep 17th 2011 11:04PM I have been to Syria several times during the last twenty years. Visited both Crac and Mari last summer, and the general impression is not that the situation is as bad as mentioned in this INFO. Crac stands prettty well and solid, and in Mari hard to see advanced corosion that was not there the previous time, in 2005. The halls in the palace were kept clean and seemed to be attended regularly. So, apart from the heat (and it was better this time than the last, only 45 centigrades in the non-existent shadow--last time 55 centigrades), it still a marvelous place to visit.
It is so far from everything, even Der ez-Zor, that we may hope that it is ouside the reach of the guns.
Niels Peter Lemche