The people of Yarmouk have found their district smashed to pieces as they return following the expulsion of Islamic State.

By Alex Rossi, Middle East correspondent, in Damascus

The destruction of the Yarmouk District in Damascus could be a visual metaphor for Syria’s long and brutal war.

The area is smashed up beyond belief – a panorama of wreckage, street after battered street.

The neighbourhood was the so-called Islamic State’s last stronghold in the capital – the terror group overran the area in 2015 but the regime lost it in 2012 at the start of the rebellion.

The last batch of militants were evacuated last week – it means that the capital Damascus, after seven years of fighting, is now under complete government control.

Soldiers scoot up and down, patrolling what’s left of Yarmouk’s broken streets, on motorbikes – others man the makeshift checkpoints, which pop up every few hundred metres.

Amid the wreckage, dazed residents – many returning for the first time in years – sift through the rubble.

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