AL-DIABIA /Syria/, August 27. /TASS/. About one half of residents of Syria’s al-Diabia city (the Damascus Governorate) who had to leave it when it was captured by militants have returned to their homes after government troops regained control over it, a local official said.

“Prior to the war, Al-Diabia had a population of 70,000 people, 35,000 people have returned by now,” head of the local administration Abdullah Ahmad said.

He added that houses and infrastructure facilities were being actively restored in the city to accelerate refugees’ return. “Our task is to restore everything here for normal life as soon as possible and improve people’s living conditions,” the official said, adding that the authorities are ready to provide temporary accommodation to those whose houses are unsuitable yet.

It was largely possible to ensure the city’s transition under the Syrian authorities’ control due to the fact that local residents who fought alongside illegal armed groups agreed to lay down arms. In return, they were granted amnesty and were given an opportunity to return to civilian life.

Many refugees who came back to the liberated city currently live in difficult conditions. They note however that it is better than living in refugee camps. “We have returned here from the camp in the Daraa Governorate. Yes, we do have difficulties, but we are at home. Anyway, it is better than in the camp,” local resident called Iman Suleiman Okla said.

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