Displaced Syrians Due to War Return Home in South Damascus
About 4,000 residents of Qadam Municipality, who fled the fighting in the last three years, returned to their hometown on the buses provided by the government.
“I feel so happy. How I wish that all Syrians could go back to their homes and that Syria become a safe country,” said Maryam Mansour, a returnee.
“It’s the happiest thing in my life to go back to my hometown. Though I have lost my children and my house, I’m here back to my hometown. Nothing is better than being safe,” said Kasem Muhammad, another returnee to Qadam.
The neighborhood was controlled by local rebels in 2012 and had been suffering from intense fighting until a ceasefire was reached by the warring sides in late 2014.
Local officials said that the opposition militants left the area on condition that the government pardon 150 anti-government militants.
“The Syrian government is doing two things simultaneously. It is, on one hand, combating every form of terrorism across the country. On the other, it is pardoning and canceling the arrest warrants for those who had armed themselves to fight against the government,” said Bashar Al-Sabban, the Governor of Damascus.
Over 250,000 people have been killed and over one million injured since the Syrian crisis started in March 2011.
More than half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, often multiple times, making Syria the largest displacement crisis in the world, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, AP reported.