With songs and dances Aleppo’s population celebrates the end of the fighting

In recent days about 6 thousand fighters with their families left Aleppo while more than two million civilians remain in the city now under state control.

Dec 22, 2016

ALEPPO: In recent days about 6 thousand fighters with their families left Aleppo while more than two million civilians remain in the city now under state control. This has helped reassure all those who showed concern for the fate of civilians in the bomb destroyed city.

According to well-informed sources contacted by AsiaNews, the people of Aleppo have celebrated with singing and dancing on the rubble strewn streets; in general there is an atmosphere of widespread joy, in spite of the ravages of war and the signs conflict that are visible everywhere.

However, the biggest victory for Aleppo is not the liberation of the city from jihadists and insurgents, which in four years failed to foster the support of the population, rather the total failure of their attempt to kill the spirit of tolerance and coexistence between religions and ethnicities. This is peculiar to Syria and especially its northern metropolis, and Jihadist extremism could not erase it.

In fact, in a sign of triumph Aziziya - the Armenian Christian Quarter of Aleppo - erected a giant Christmas tree, festively illuminating the streets.  Moreover, yesterday evening a band, composed of Armenian youth dressed as Santa Claus, performed in the square to the delight of the entire population of the area.

The lighting of the tree was witnessed by Muslims and Christians alike, all united in joy and celebrating the holiday season in a typical climate, that has nothing to do with the Islamic holidays.

This news of people celebrating, testified by video broadcasts live from a square full of people, and relaunched on the web (click here for video), certainly did not please the Salafist and jihadist groups who, for four years, had carried out campaigns of proselytizing, trying to impose a Wahhabi and takfiri Islam. A vision of Islam based on the exclusion of "infidels" and open struggle against the unbelievers.

These extremist groups who have tried to drag the people into obscurantism, attempted to target the celebrating crowds with a terrorist attack which was foiled by the police. A bomb ready to explode was placed on Aziziya square, to sow fear and uncertainty but also to curb the massive return of all internally displaced persons, who had left the city soon after the rise of the rebels and jihadists.

About one million people originally from Aleppo returned to the city after the liberation by the government forces, all ready to pick up their lives from where they were suddenly interrupted by jihadist groups. They want to rebuild, re-open businesses and factories, return the equipment stolen by militias and smuggled into Turkey. In the area there is an atmosphere of enthusiasm and dynamism, elements that have always characterized the people of Aleppo.

The news of the bomb and the explosion failed to shake the people, now immune to the "tricks" of the fighters "for freedom" and supporters of a "caliphate wanted by foreign forces". Citizens ironically see what is happening in the exact opposite of what had happened earlier. Everything began with bombs and terrorists attacks, followed by the occupation of the districts east of Aleppo and the arrival of the jihadists. Now what happens is exactly the reverse: the jihadists are fleeing, preceded by the liberation of the neighborhoods in the east and the return to basics with the bombs and terrorist attacks. Although it may seem paradoxical, the population considers the attempted attack a good sign; it is a sign of the utter despair and bewilderment of jihadist groups, now powerless and forced to cowardly and unpredictable attacks.--Asia News

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