In pictures: Orontes River engulfs Syrian hometown of Darkush

The alleyways of the Syrian town of Darkush are normally thronged with pedestrians but since the swollen Orontes River burst its banks, Abu Ihab's boat provides the main way of getting around. But this year, days of torrential rain in the mountains of Lebanon has sent a deluge downstream, submerging the streets of his hometown under as much as a metre and a half (five feet) of water.
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A man paddles a small boat along a flooded street in the town of Darkush, in the west of Idlib province on January 17, 2019, following heavy rains that saw the Orontes River (Assi River) break its banks and flood parts of the town and the nearby orchards.
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AAREF WATAD/AFP/Getty Images
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A child stands watching a man manoeuvering a small boat along a flooded street in the town of Darkush, in the west of Idlib province on January 17, 2019, following heavy rains that saw the Orontes River (Assi River) break its banks and flood parts of the town and the nearby orchards.
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AAREF WATAD/AFP/Getty Images
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A child waits to climb into a small boat along a flooded street in the town of Darkush, in the west of Idlib province on January 17, 2019, following heavy rains that saw the Orontes River (Assi River) break its banks and flood parts of the town and the nearby orchards.
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AAREF WATAD/AFP/Getty Images
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Waters flood the ground outside apartment blocks in the town of Darkush, in the west of Idlib province on January 17, 2019, following heavy rains that saw the Orontes River (Assi River) break its banks and flood parts of the town and the nearby orchards.
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AAREF WATAD/AFP/Getty Images
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Children enjoy a ride on a small boat along a flooded street in the town of Darkush, in the west of Idlib province on January 17, 2019, following heavy rains that saw the Orontes River (Assi River) break its banks and flood parts of the town and the nearby orchards.
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AAREF WATAD/AFP/Getty Images
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A man paddles a small boat along a flooded street in the town of Darkush, in the west of Idlib province on January 17, 2019, following heavy rains that saw the Orontes River (Assi River) break its banks and flood parts of the town and the nearby orchards.