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    Supporters of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carry their national flags and gesture as they tour the streets in celebration of what they say is the Syrian army's victory against the rebels in Aleppo, Syria December 12, 2016

    'We Waited for This Day for Five Years': Aleppo Residents Celebrate Liberation

    © REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki
    Middle East
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    On Thursday, the Syrian Army declared the complete liberation of Aleppo from terrorists. It was a cold windy day but thousands of Aleppo residents took to the streets to celebrate the end of five long years of fighting.

    The victory in Aleppo is strategic and will turn the tide of the Syrian war which broke out in 2011.

    In a recent interview with Al Watan newspaper, President Bashar Assad said that the Syrian Army taking control over Aleppo would radically change the situation across the entire country and would be a devastating blow to terrorists and their sponsors.

    The fight for Aleppo was waged on the ground but also by diplomats. A special focus was placed on talks between and the United States and the most influential players in the Middle East.

    ​Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his American counterpart John Kerry have had a series of meetings, in attempts to reach a compromise on the situation in Aleppo. Thanks to their efforts, thousands of lives were saved and the rest of the militants in eastern Aleppo surrendered.

    ​Now when the city has been cleared of militants, people continue their celebration in the streets. Music can be heard from everywhere. People are congratulating each other, many of them are waiving Syrian and Russian flags.

    ​"I thought this day would never come. We waited for this for five years. Long live Bashar! Long live Syria and Russia!" a local woman told journalists.

    Another woman, her neighbor, tried to say something but could not keep back her tears, folding her kids to her breast.

    ​All of sudden, automatic gunfire was heard. But for the first time during the war, this was celebratory gunfire. People in Aleppo want the war to never return to their city.

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    Related:

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    UN Satisfied With Ongoing Evacuation From Eastern Aleppo - Diplomatic Source
    Tags:
    military conflict, Syrian Arab Army, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Aleppo
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