Speaking at a press conference in the Armenian capital Yerevan, a member of the Syrian parliament, Zhirayr Reisyan, said recently that the liberated city of Deir ez-Zorr is a large and significant victory of the Syrian army.
Zhirayr Reisyan compared the liberated Deir-ez-Zorr with the war-torn Aleppo. Particularly the deputy draw the people’s attention to the fact that in peacetime a large number of Armenians lived both in Aleppo and in Deir ez-Zorr. However, most of them were forced to leave their homeland because of the Islamists.
Drawing parallels between the two cities, the parliamentarian also told the audience about the current situation in Aleppo.
Despite the fact that in the city there are still so many economic and housing problems and the city is suffering from the lack of jobs, the government successfully coped with the restoration of water supply and electricity. The security of the locals is now guaranteed by the Syrian Arab army (SAA) and the authorities are currently restoring communications including the airport damaged as a result of the invasion of opposition fighters, Al-Nusra and ISIS.
According to Zhirayr Reisyan, among the inhabitants of Aleppo gradually returning to the country from Armenia, Lebanon, Europe, the United States and Canada there is a large number of ethnic Armenians.
Mr. Reisyan also touched upon the losses among the Armenian population in the course of the conflict. Official statistics claim that 200 ethnic Armenians died defending Aleppo in the ranks of the SAA with 10 others, MIA people. The number of civilian Armenians died in shellings and bombings of the city is not possible to calculate at the moment, but the number of wounded people exceeds thousands.
Residents of the besieged Aleppo including Armenians also suffered heavy material losses having lost their businesses, their homes and apartments which they could never restore.
However, the fact that many people return to their hometown with the hope of peace is already a huge achievement. Zhirayr Reisyan expressed confidence that the city will be finally restored and will be living the good life soon. He believes refugees living abroad now needed to return to the city to contribute to economic and social progress.
Sophie Mangal is a special investigative correspondent and co-editor at Inside Syria Media Center where this article was originally published.