Life returns to normal in Syria’s Jarablus after liberation from ISIL
Women are pictured with Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in the background in the border town of Jarablus, Syria, August 31, 2016. REUTERS photoLife has returned to normal in the northern Syrian town of Jarablus, with shops opening up and children enjoying ice cream, a week after Turkey launched an operation to liberate the city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
At the start of the cross-border offensive, now ongoing for more than one week, Turkish tanks, artillery and warplanes provided rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with the firepower to capture the Syrian frontier town of Jarablus, which was abandoned by ISIL militants with little fight last week.
The number of civilians living in the city, which was populated by around 25,000 inhabitants, consisting mostly of Turkmens and Arabs, fell to just a couple of hundred during the ISIL siege.
With the liberation of Jarablus, civilians have started returning to the city, including women and children enjoying ice cream from an old ice cream machine.
Bakeries and most of the shops, varying from markets to perfumeries, opened up on Aug. 31, one week after the Turkish offensive was launched.
Groups of women can be seen waiting in line for water from public fountains, as one of the biggest problems in the city is finding fresh water due to collapse of infrastructure. Another big problem for civilians returning to the border city is electricity, along with the lack of medicine.
Walls across the city remain adorned with slogans from the time of ISIL’s rule, while many buildings still need to be cleaned of traps left behind by the jihadist militants.