Syria urges NE Aleppo Residents to Return Home

The Syrian army has called on the displaced residents of liberated districts of northeastern Aleppo to return home as the Syrian forces advance against terrorists on the battlefield in the flashpoint city.

The general command of the Syrian army and armed forces made the call in a statement released on Saturday, saying that the state institutions had already begun the rehabilitation of the liberated neighborhoods in the city.

Reports say over the past two days, hundreds of Syrian families have returned to the strategic eastern Aleppo district of Masaken Hanano, which was retaken from militants last month.

dc61e47c-8f97-4a25-acfc-e0c85c5c611fSyrians, from various western Aleppo districts, wait at the Razi bus stop in the city’s Jamiliyeh neighborhood before travelling to eastern Aleppo on December 3, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

On Saturday, at least 10 buses, adorned with pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as the Syrian and Russian flags, traveled directly from government-held western Aleppo to recently recaptured areas in the east. It was the first such trip in the past few years.

The trip started at the Razi bus stop in central Jamiliyeh neighborhood and ended after 30 minutes in Masaken Hanano.

“I haven’t been to my house for almost six years,” said passenger Hala Hassan Fares, adding, “Our house is totally burned, but we’re going to see my father, who is 80 years old.”

Driver Abdullah al-Ali also expressed his joy over the situation, saying, “I’m so happy for these people going back to check on their homes.”

fcbd1930-6333-474c-9bad-a27ec41a0be7Syrian pro-government forces set up an outpost in the recently retaken neighborhood of Sakan al-Shababi in eastern Aleppo on December 2, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The Syrian government forces, who are in full control of western Aleppo, have been conducting operations to purge militants from the city’s east.

Backed by Russia’s air cover, the Syrian army forces and their allies have dealt heavy blows to the militants over the past few weeks.

According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Syrian forces are now exerting control over 60 percent of eastern Aleppo, which was among the first areas that fell to the Takfiri militant groups following the outbreak of foreign-backed militancy in the Arab state over five years ago.

Syria defense chief in Aleppo

In another development on Saturday, Syria’s Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij visited a number of military positions in the areas of Sheikh Saeed, al-Naqarin, western al-Nairab Airport situated in Aleppo and its countryside.

Freij met with Syrian soldiers and was briefed by field commanders on gains, anti-terror operations and plans for future measures.

He also assured that Syria’s fight against terrorism will continue until security and stability are restored all over the country.

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