DAMASCUS, December 19 /TASS/. Former terrorists from the city of al-Muadamia in the Damascus countryside, having joined Syria’s reconciliation process, vowed to help rebuild the city’s war-ravaged homes and decimated infrastructure.
The ex-militants told Russian journalists that they had acknowledged the error of their ways.
The armed terrorist groups were comprised mainly of local residents from the local municipality of Al-Muadamia, which has a population of about 50,000 people. However, 1,500 people who used to fight in the terrorist’s ranks said they would like to lay down their arms.
Ahmed Alamshari, a native of al-Muadamia, for several years had taken instructions from the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants, who killed his relatives. "It’s hard for you to imagine what strong pressure the terrorists exerted on us. They had many foreign mercenaries among them who, as we grasped later, came to destroy our society. I support the government and defend my city. I am restoring the buildings along with other people," the ex-militant said.
"We regret our actions, which burdened people’s lives in this town," Alamshari went on to say.
Al-Muadamia has been liberated but its entire infrastructure has been lost.
A wooden pole, which stands at the city entrance, has a sign with the word "liberated" written across it. It means that the city has been cleared of terrorists. Some city buildings have been devastated and almost every building is pockmarked with bullet traces. The city has been left without gas or water.
"Our city was destroyed, so now we have moved into our relatives’ place," Om Husam, the mother of eight, said.
"We were very much afraid when military hostilities were underway. We hid in the basement during the entire shelling. Now it’s safe. Our children are playing in the street again. They are going to school," she elaborated.
Basam Karbuch, the head of the al-Muadamia Municipal Council, hopes the settlement process will continue and the people will be able to return to their homes. According to him, people have been provided with warm clothes and some foodstuffs. Nevertheless, the demand for bread is still urgent.
"The population is experiencing serious bread shortages. There are private production facilities that are baking bread in the city. But their capacity is insufficient to provide everybody with bread," Karbuch stressed.
Despite all the hardships, life in the city goes on. Stores and corner grocery shops are open. The public has been attending mosques. They are confident that they will be able to restore the city quickly and they count on the ex-militants for help.