World Bulletin / News Desk
Life is returning to normal for residents of Jarabulus in northern Syria, two months after Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army liberated the city in Aleppo province, residents told Anadolu Agency.
Muhammed Habes, Jarabulus council president, said Monday the once ghost city is now teeming with life.
Habes gave credit to Turkey for their liberty.
"ISIL had destroyed everything and after our city was liberated, nobody believed that these troubles would be resolved in a short time. However, the truth is that everything has changed in Jarabulus, the life has changed by 180 degrees in Jarabulus."
He said Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield had paved the way for electricity, water and security in the city. He also said that schools had reopened and people could now freely go to their mosques for prayers.
"We are happy and our people are safe at their homes. Thanks to Turkey, they wake up in peace in the morning. We thank the Turkish government and authorities as they extended a helping hand to innocent people during war.
"And now Turkey is using every means available to reconstruct Jarabulus."
ISIL was forced to flee Jarabulus following the launch of Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 25.
The population of the city, which had dropped down to less than 4,000 people, was now over 30,000. According to the governor's office in Gaziantep, 7,541 Syrians returned to Syria’s Jarabulus from Turkey’s Gaziantep province alone.
Markets and shops are full of people who not too long ago remained trapped inside their homes due to the presence of ISIL.
Even artisans were now continuing to work late in the night in the city as power connections resume.
Ibrahim al-Hasan, an artisan in Jarabulus, said before men could not even walk in the city. "Now, the city center is quite crowded and it is the same even at night," he said.
Al-Hasan said the municipality of Gaziantep was cleaning the streets of Jarabulus and garbage containers had also been placed everywhere. "We are in peace now and we hope it will continue here and all around the country," he added.
Turkey has said Operation Euphrates Shield is aimed at bolstering border security, supporting coalition forces and eliminating the threat posed by terror organizations, namely ISIL.
The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to Turkey’s armed forces by its parliament in 2014, which was extended for another year in September 2015.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings – with unexpected ferocity.
The Syrian Center for Policy Research, a Beirut-based NGO, has put the total death toll from the five-year conflict at more than 470,000.Last Mod: 24 Ekim 2016, 16:14