Displaced Syrians return to Barzeh after security restored

Displaced Syrians return to Barzeh after security restored
Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:44:00

Hundreds of displaced Syrians have returned home after security was restored to the district of Barzeh in the capital, Damascus, a report says.

Families who had fled their homes due to turmoil started to return to Barzeh on Saturday. This became possible after government troops and foreign-backed insurgents reached an agreement under which the militants retreated from the neighborhood, where local authorities have been working to repair the infrastructure, Press TV reported on Sunday.

“It is almost a year for us out of Barzeh, we heard we can go back, I cannot describe to you how happy I am right now,” one of the displaced said.

Barzeh is considered the first area where members of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) have agreed to retreat from after a deal with the Syrian government.

On January 5, the militants agreed to halt fighting against the Syrian government in the area after nearly a year of clashes.

According to a statement posted by the foreign-backed opposition, after intense negotiations in recent days between the government and the Free Syrian Army through mediators from the neighborhood, a ceasefire has been reached between the two sides of the conflict.

The two sides have also agreed on the withdrawal of the army “from all of Barzeh, and the cleaning of the streets (of abandoned corpses) in preparation for the road to be opened” by the militants, the statement said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Syrians who had fled the district will be able to return within two weeks, and that “services will be restored.”

Syria’s news agency SANA recently reported that 200 members of the Free Syrian Army and the al-Nusra Front have handed themselves in to the Syrian army in Barzeh.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - support the militants operating inside the country.

More than 130,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for nearly three years.

NTJ/HH

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