HOMS (Sputnik) – Talal Barazi, the governor of both the city and province of Homs, said in an interview to Sputnik that around 20,000 people, or 500 families, returned home in 2016-2017 to Homs and its neighborhoods.
He explained that the Syrian civilians were coming back because the military forces were withdrawing from Syria and the reconciliation agreement was in place.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of refugees is expected to return in 2018 after the restoration of local infrastructure, water and electricity supply with a new school year also beginning, the governor continued.
Moreover, in the coming two weeks, the residents of Palmyra, located in the east of the province, will also return to their homes as the infrastructure in the city gets restored, Barazi added. Meanwhile, large-scale reconstruction of the province may begin in 2018 after its' inclusion in the government plan for restoring areas damaged by war, the official suggested.
The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011, being fought between government troops and numerous opposition and terrorist organizations. The Russian Aerospace Forces have been supporting the Syrian government forces in their fight against terrorists since 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russia, alongside Iran and Turkey, is a guarantor of the ceasefire regime in Syria. Moscow has also been assisting Damascus by providing humanitarian aid. On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said 41 people had returned to their homes in the Homs province over the past 24 hours.