A Detailed Trip on the Damascus-Aleppo Road
Aleppo’s Lermon Roundabout has been almost completely wrecked by Syrian war, with the last part standing being a stone slab on which a cooperation agreement was etched. Withstanding a few bullet holes, the writing of the deal with Turkey’s Gaziantep dates back to 2005.
Hanging road signs and battered infrastructure are reminiscent of better days, back when the border area was flourishing with economic prosperity under the free trade agreement signed between Syria and Turkey.
Since the last of the Syrian armed factions withdrew, a dreadful silence has taken over the roundabout, but it is intermittently disrupted by the few civilian cars that have carefully made their way through the rubble.
Civilians, mostly local industrialists and homeowners who had fled Aleppo some nine years ago, have returned after braving a difficult road filled with roadblocks and forced turns into muddy dirt pathways.
These civilians can be spotted waving their hands to a few Syrian soldiers who have stood on the roadside to check the identities of travelers. The speed with which the opposition factions withdrew imposed urgent measures to deal with unexploded ordnance and mines.
Some buildings awaiting a safety sweep were tagged off limits for civilians.
According to official figures, the Syrian government recovered more than 1,600 facilities and factories during the recent military operation. The recovered premises are distributed between the northern, western and southern countryside of Aleppo, and account for 40 percent of the Syrian industrial sector.
Some of the factories and workshops were secured in Zurba and its surroundings (south), as part of the process of securing the Damascus-Aleppo road.
The announcement of securing the vital road on February 14 by regime forces marked the most important development in a military operation and imposed a rapid regression of armed factions.