Local residents return to Syrian southern Zabadani due to ceasefire

DAMASCUS, Aug. 30 (MNA) – The Syrians are returning to the country’s southern city of Zabadani located not far from Damascus and the Lebanese border, due to the establishment of the ceasefire and de-escalation zones in the area, the city’s mayor said Wednesday.

Zabadani, which had been a resort city before the beginning of the Sytian civil war in 2011, has for several years been under control of Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) terror group.

"Before the war, around 200,000 people lived in the Zabadani region, while there are currently 80,000 people. Around 400 families have recently returned to central Zabadani," Bassel Adeilati told journalists.

Adeilati added that the Syrian government forces had been carrying active clashes with the terrorists in the area just several months ago. Now that the city is liberated from the militants, the majority of the houses damaged by the shelling will be subject to demolition for the construction of the new buildings on their places, the mayor said adding that the authorities are planning the reconstruction of the local railway station and the reestablishment of traffic with Damascus in the near future.

"We are now constructing the road leading to the city itself," Adeilati noted.

In May, Russia, Turkey and Iran, the guarantor states of Syrian ceasefire, signed a memorandum to create four zones of de-escalation in Syria. Three zones in southern Syria and in Eastern Ghouta are already operational, and talks are underway to establish a fourth one in the Idlib province.


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