The Syrian regime has announced the return of a portion of Darayya people to their city, two years following a complete evacuation process, under an agreement signed after four years of siege.
Today, Tuesday (August 28), the Syrian official news agency “SANA,” reported that thousands of internally displaced people have returned to their houses in the city of Darayya, western rural Damascus, after principal services are reactivated there.
Regime-affiliated networks in Damascus published a video of dozens of civilians while entering the city from the side of the southern highway (al-Mutahalk al-Janoubi).
The people entered the city when the Executive Office of Darayya Municipality issued a statement, yesterday (Monday), in which it declared that the people will start returning starting from today, under the directions of the Mayor of rural Damascus Alaa Muneer Ibrahim.
The office added that a meeting will be held with the mayor after the people’s entrance at al-Zaytoonah roundabout, pointing out that the people will exclusively return through the Southern Highway towards al-Basel roundabout.
The return corresponds to the anniversary of the people’s displacement after the siege that the city suffered for four years.
Enab Baladi communicated with one of the civilians who returned to the city, who said that the civilians’ entrance today is only for the sake of the celebration, which the regime organized near the al- Zaytoonah roundabout, pointing out that the people are allowed to return through the Southern highway exclusively.
The civilian (wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons) added that the civilians are prevented from moving around or checking on their houses, amidst promises offered by the “Technical Office” in Darayya Municipality of an official return tomorrow (Wednesday), where they can stay “without any restrictions.”
The civilian stressed that the people’s movement is restricted to the celebration’s site only and according to the promises the actual return will start tomorrow in stages as to prevent crowdedness.
Darayya witnessed battles between the “Free Army,” which was besieged for four years with the civilians who remained in the city, and Assad’s forces, before a committee, representing the factions and the city’s entities, could reach a deal with the regime, which provided for the evacuation of the city on August 26, 2016.
The city of Darayya’s people’s return remained suspended for security and political reasons, which was lately confirmed by Marwan Obiad, the head of Darayya Municipality.
In an interview with “Al Madina FM,” radio station, last march, Obiad said that people’s return is a political and security-related concern, adding that “there is not a definite date for the people’s return […] There are political considerations and security issues that prevent defining a date for the return.”
The Syrian regime started the stage of wreckage removal and reopening the roads in Darayya early in 2018.
Back then, the Executive Office, in a statement, said that this project is one of the key enterprises, as it is the worthiest, the preliminary value of which reached 250 million Syrian pounds, to be increased in the second quarter of 2018.