Syrians hijack the government's summer tourism hashtag with images of civil war

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A government campaign to draw tourists to Syria using #SummerInSyria is backfiring, with Syrians posting sarcastic responses and photos of bombed-out buildings.

The hashtag campaign was launched on Monday by the Syrian state media agency's English language network SANA English, asking Twitter users to write and send pictures about their Syrian summer, Al Jazeera reports.


Syrians, and others, responded with the following:

#SummerInSyria is a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch AND TOUCH 🎆🎆 fireworks🎆 🎆 falling from the sky

— Lori A. (@LoretteMary) June 24, 2015

Syria has been in a state of civil war for the past four years, since an attempt to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. During that time, Amnesty International says, both the regime and opposition groups committed war crimes against civilians—though the government's abuses are "so systematic and widespread that they constitute crimes against humanity." The BBC reports that more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. 11 million more have been displaced.