Thousands of Syrians have started returning to resume their lives in the now-liberated city of Aleppo, giving lie to controlled Western media claims that the Syrian government was responsible for driving them out—and showing that there are increasingly fewer reasons for Syrians to be claiming “asylum” in Europe.
At the same time, the Russians have announced a partial withdrawal from Syria following the cease-fire negotiated between all the major warring groups—excluding the ISIS coalition. The cease-fire has, with only a few exceptions, held steady since December 30.
According to Russian media, the influx of thousands of people to Aleppo means that “life is returning to normal in the liberated city, a fact that a majority of the mainstream media has chosen to ignore in their coverage of the Aleppo operation’s outcome.”
Despite the destruction inflicted on the city’s infrastructure by the U.S.-backed terrorist forces, thousands of people who had been forced to flee are now returning to their homes, with a United Nations official confirming that in the Hanano housing district, some 2,200 families have already returned since Christmas.
Hanano was one of the first districts to be seized by the U.S.-backed “moderate rebels,” resulting in a mass exodus as the full horror of Islamist-aligned rule was implemented.
“People are coming out to east Aleppo to see their shops, their houses, to see if the building is standing and the house is not that looted… to see, [if] should they come back,” Sajjad Malik, country representative in Syria for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Aleppo Province Governor Hussein Diab said that life in the city is “gradually returning to normal.”
Efforts to restore Aleppo are under way. Video reports show tractors and forklifts clearing the streets of sandbags and rubble, in a bid to bring the city back into working order. Some of the factories in the city’s eastern region, where machines remained functional, have returned to work.
UN-supported partners reportedly prepare hot meals and bake bread daily for thousands of people who are rebuilding their homes. Mobile medical clinics are up and running, and more than 10,000 children have received polio vaccinations.
Organizations are also working with local government to issue documents that residents were unable to process while the sector was held by the jihadists, including registration of births, deaths, and marriages.
Meanwhile, the Russians have announced that they will be withdrawing their aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, from which most of the airstrikes against the U.S.-backed terrorist forces were launched.
At the same time, the month-long ISIS offensive to retake Palmyra has collapsed and its forces are in headlong retreat to its capital, Raqqa.
According to the Syrian Al-Masdar News service, ISIS’s attempts to retake the ancient city—scene of some of its most brutal public massacres—has been defeated after a counterattack by the Syrian government’s army.
While the Syrian Army attacked the Islamic State’s positions, Russian aircraft carried out several airstrikes on ISIS’s primary oil supply route that stretches from eastern Homs to the Al-Raqqa Governorate.
With their front-lines near Raqqa falling apart, the Islamic State has sent its reserves from eastern Homs to this front in order to defend it against Kurdish forces pushing east towards the provincial capital, the news service said.