War-weary Syrians yearn for peace after 7 years of conflict

By Agencies Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/7/14 9:18:23

After experiencing the battles in a formerly rebel-held town in southern Syria, Muhammad Nasr Mahamid says the lesson learned after seven years of the Syrian war is that peace is the most cherished in life.

The man, a father of two, lived in the Um al-Mayathen town, which was captured by the Syrian army earlier this week during a wide-scale military offensive in the eastern countryside of Daraa Province.

Describing life as difficult, Mahamid said he could no longer continue his original work of making concrete blocks during the war. Instead, he relies on selling cow milk for money to raise his little children and younger brothers.

The woes of war have reflected on his weary face as well as the house he lives in. He could finally speak and express himself since the town is empty of militants.

Damage was obvious in the house, with holes in the ceilings and rubble on the floor as a result of the battles there during the recent military showdown in Daraa.

When the battles were raging, he and his families moved to a safer room in the house for protection.

He complained that all necessities of life were difficult to access when the rebels were in the town.

"Life was difficult on different aspects, as the cooking gas was expensive, the water was very hard to get and on top of that we have suffered from the extreme pressure of the armed militants' presence in our town," he told Xinhua during a trip to Daraa.

He said people suffered from food shortage ahead of the army's entry into the town.

"A week ahead of the day when the Syrian army entered the town, we had no water or food and we had no bread for the children," he recounted.

Mahamid said his mother used to bake bread using the wheat they previously stored. However, it was running out, only enough to make one bread meal for the kids on the daily basis.

The 32-year-old man wished for peace to return to the country, so that his children, little brother and sisters can live a normal life.

"I wish for peace to return to our country and live our lives like we used to do before the war, when we used to go on trips to Daraa and Damascus, to laugh, to have fun like the normal life," Mahamid said.

"During the war, I used to sleep only for four hours every night out of fear that some armed man would come to steal my cow or sheep as the armed men used to do whatever they want and no one dared to stop them," he added.

On the first night after the militants were banished, Mahamid said he finally "had a long night sleep without fear."

Now days after the war in the town ended, residents were appealing for the entry of food items and other necessities as soon as possible for the sake of their children.

The Syrian government has already started sending food to areas that have recently been recaptured in Daraa, but such process is not easily done quickly in the light of the military situation in the southern province.

On June 19, the Syrian army unleashed a wide-scale offensive to dislodge the rebels from Daraa.

The Syrian army has captured large swathes of territory in Daraa during the recent campaign, either through reconciliation or by military force.

As the birthplace of the Syrian war that erupted in 2011, Daraa is both symbolically and militarily significant for the Syrian army because the rebels have been using the Jordanian border to bring in arms and fighters throughout the Syrian war.


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