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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Thousands of people return to hometowns in northwestern Syria

Iran Press TV

Sun Sep 15, 2019 01:28PM

Thousands of Syrians have returned to their hometowns in the country's northwest after government forces purged the areas of foreign-backed militants.

Syria's official news agency, SANA, reported that "thousands of citizens returned" to their villages and towns in the northern countryside of Hama province and the southern countryside of Idlib on Sunday.

The government has been making efforts to return the displaced to their towns and villages over the past months.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed the report, saying "around 3,000 people" were going home from other government-held areas.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that he believes the war in Syria has come to an end. "The country is gradually returning to a normal, peaceful life."

Large parts of the northwestern province of Idlib and parts of neighboring Hama constitute the last major militant stronghold in Syria.

Late last month, the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria announced a unilateral ceasefire by government forces in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

On August 5, the Syrian army declared in a statement the start of an offensive against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib after those positioned in the de-escalation zone failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.

The Syrian government troops, backed by Russian warplanes, have been regaining control of further areas once held by militants.

The Russian military assistance began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government.

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