Syrian people returning to the liberated city of Jarablus are happy to observe their first terror-free Eid al-Adha in two and a half years.
Jarablus was cleared of ISIS on August 24, as part of Turkish military’s Operation Euphrates Shield, which aims to drive ISIS out of the region to the south of Turkey’s border.
Yasser Salaam, a father of four children, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that they fled from ISIS cruelty and took refuge in Aleppo’s Azaz town.
Salaam said he and his family decided to return to Jarablus after the city was liberated from terrorists by the Free Syrian Army forces backed by the Turkish Armed Forces.
“The last time we saw our relatives was a year ago. Now we are together, and very happy to be celebrating the first Eid in a while,” he said, and thanked the Turkish government and its people for their support.
Salaam’s wife Wahide said she was very grateful to finally get reunited with her nephews and nieces, and expressed her gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We are delighted. We do not want anybody else but Recep Tayyip Erdogan. May God bless him. All Arabs love him,” she said.
A family guest, Faruk Al-Bahri said he fled to Turkey two years ago but his family stayed in Jarablus.
Al-Bahri said that they would never forget Turkey’s help.
“We thank Turkey very much. We are finally back with our friends, neighbors, and relatives this Eid, and we are very happy. Thank you for everything,” he said.
The life in Jarablus started to get back to normal following the city’s liberation as many of its displaced residents began to return to their homes. Many of the residents had crossed the border and took refuge in Turkey.
The city’s population, which had dropped down under 5,000 when it was under ISIS control, went up to 25,000 over the past week.
Turkey has been helping restore the city, including offering infrastructural support, and access to power and drinking water.
The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes.