After years of fighting, some Aleppo residents return home

World Today

A day after taking back Aleppo, Syria government fighters are dismantling explosives left behind by rebels. The nearly six-year civil war has left the city in shambles.

CCTV’s Alaa Ebharim reports on the celebrations.

After years of fighting, some Aleppo residents return home

A day after taking back Aleppo, Syria government fighters are dismantling explosives left behind by rebels. The nearly six-year civil war has left the city in shambles. CCTV's Alaa Ebharim reports on the celebrations.

A night of celebrations in Aleppo—a long awaited event for the remaining residents of the embattled city that has seen years of violence.

Vehicles carrying the last rebel fighters had left eastern Aleppo by Thursday evening, carrying rebels out of the city, effectively ending a series of battles that began in July of 2012.

Since then, Aleppo has been a divided city, with rebel forces controlling its eastern districts and western areas under Syrian government control.

But as the sun shines on Aleppo, the consequences of war stare the city’s population in the face. In the past three weeks, over 130,000 people have fled eastern Aleppo and are now waiting for a chance to go back home. Many families lost loved ones and the collateral damage is immense.

“Where do we go now? I thank the army for saving us but what can we do now? We lost our husbands and children. What can we do now?” asked Fatime, an Aleppo resident.

But in one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, life goes on. Hours after fighting in the city ended, workers were trying to mend whatever could be mended.

“We estimate the value of damages at 850 billion Syrian pounds, or almost two billion U.S. dollars, and now we have to accommodate thousands who have been left homeless,” said Najwan Saied, who is the Head of the Social Affairs Department in Aleppo.

In the freezing cold, workers and soldiers warm themselves around the fire. Some of them have finished their battle, but for the others, the road ahead is still long.