Written by Reuters
12 Jul, 2018 | 5:07 pm
Reuters – Jordanians living along the Syrian border are longing for a return to normalcy and peace, after bearing the brunt of Syria’s more than two-week offensive to recapture its southern areas. Sama Al Sarhan in Marfraq City is the closest Jordanian town to Syria’s southern Daraa governorate.
In June, Syrian government forces began bombardments to recapture Daraa.
Since then, the lives of local residents living in Sama Al Sarhan have been disrupted. Houses have been damaged, and the sound of bombs can be heard throughout the day. Locals say they are tired of being awakened in the middle of the night by bomb raids and of having to repair their houses.
“Life has been really hard these days. We can hear the bombs throughout the whole day. The place where we are living now is only a few hundred meters away from the battlefield, and our house has been damaged by every bombardment. My kids and I are often awakened by the bombs. We have to pay to repair the house. We are so tired, both psychologically and physically,” said Ayman Algor, a local resident.
In July 2017, the United States, Russia, and Jordan signed an agreement to establish a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, bringing a short and precious period of peace for local residents. The tranquility, however, was broken since the Syrian army started their operations to take back Daraa governorate. Local farmland is now riddled with shrapnel and mortar shells.
“The place where we are living is the closest place to the border area, to the borderline. You can see it’s only a few meters away [from the border]. In the past 10 days or so, this area was hit hard by bombs. Most houses have cracks, which could cause the walls to collapse. Moreover, the farmland has been contaminated by the chemicals inside the bombs,” said Ali Al Sarhan, the former mayor of Marfraq.
Daraa has a symbolic significance as it was the birthplace of the Syrian war that erupted in 2011. Securing it will be a big victory for the Syrian army both symbolically and militarily, as the rebels have used the Jordanian border to bring in arms and fighters throughout the war.
But local residents in Jordan, as well as the Syrian people on the other side of the border, hope that the war will end as soon as possible so that they can live peaceful lives.
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