The Syrian Civil Defense has launched a campaign aiming at the rehabilitation of the Ariha- Jisr al-Shughur highway, Idlib governorate, to help vehicles use it for transportation between the two cities, after it has stopped since 2015 due to the shelling that caused it a lot of damage.
The campaign, called “Bridges of Hope, started on August 4, on which 30 Civil Defense members were in a state of total alert, using all the vehicles and tools needed in Ariha, according to Walid Aslan, the head of Civil Defense of Ariha’s sector.
Aslan added telling Enab Baladi that the campaign seeks to rehabilitate the road connecting Ariha with Jisr al-Shughur through clearing off the ruble from the highway and the rehabilitation of the bridge’s part which shelling destroyed, pointing out that the team enhanced the bridge with iron columns and the work is yet on until the mission is completed.
According to Aslan, the reopening of the Ariha-Jisr al-Shughur highway is to be announced soon.
The road connecting the two cites has been bombarded by Assad’s forces in 2015, the year in which the Syrian opposition managed to control Ariha and Jisr al-Shughur.
Since then, the local teams have been, with modest resources, trying to rehabilitate the minor roads and remove the wreckage from the cities’ streets, but they failed to rehabilitate the highway which needs both special efforts and equipment.
The drivers used to avoid the major roads, as they were clear targets for aircraft, before the shelling lessened with the implementation of the “de-scalation” deal last year.
The reopening of the highway is important for it is a vital point linking the center of Idlib with its western rural parts, extending to the north towards Aleppo governorate, and the south-western parts of Lattakia governorate.
“From You and at Your Service”
The “Bridges of Hope” was preceded by another campaign that the Civil Defense lunched in the Ariha sector, last July, under the name “From You and at Your Service,” targeting the rehabilitation of principal, minor and agricultural roads within Ariha, through the removal of wreckage and beautification of its streets.
The campaign ended early in August and covered the city of Ariha, Mount Arbaʻīn, Ihsim, Arnabeh, al-Magharah, al-Bara, Balyun, Shinan, Muhambal and other towns and villages in Ariha.
According to Walid Aslan, the head of the Civil Defense in Ariha Sector, the campaign has achieved a number of objectives, on top of which is the eradication of wreckage from streets to facilitate the movement of civilians and vehicles, clearing off the accumulated garbage and dust, reopening and paving the agricultural roads to help civilians reach their lands.
The campaign also included washing the streets, the rehabilitation of median strips of major streets and painting them in blue and yellow, the same colors of the Syrian civil defense, in addition to the maintenance of the public facilities, on top of which are the Shinan Hospital and the parks of the city of Ariha.