WATCH: Syrians snap scenes of destruction aboard first train ride across Aleppo in years

(AFP)
(AFP)


Aleppo - Hundreds of Syrians took a train through battle-scarred east Aleppo on Thursday, 25 January, as services resumed for the first time after four years of fighting, a photographer working with AFP said.

Men, women and children peered out the windows as they rode across eastern districts after regime forces recaptured them from rebels in December, the photographer said.

It was the train's first such trip since rebels overran east Aleppo in the summer of 2012, effectively dividing the northern city into a regime-held west and a rebel-controlled east.

A driver in a leather jacket ferried the full carriages from Jibreen station on the city's eastern outskirts across the city's former front line to Aleppo's main Baghdad railway station.

As they slowly moved through the rubble, the passengers - surprised at the extent of the damage - pulled out their mobile phones to take pictures.



On the ground in the eastern side, which is strewn with debris after years of air strikes, people gathered by the tracks, staring at the first train they had seen since 2012.

Passengers rode the train, which bore portraits of President Bashar al-Assad at the front and in the carriages, two ways in a one-hour round trip, the photographer said.

Syria's Transport Minister Ali Hamoud said the resumption of train services between the two stations came after "the victory of the heroes of the Syrian army, returning safety and stability to the whole city".

Because of Syria's conflict, services remain suspended between Aleppo and other main cities.

An inspection uncovered 40 points of damage "from terrorism" along the line, the minister said, using the term the regime uses to refer to the rebels.

The line was reopened after repairs that took less than 20 days, he said in a statement carried by the SANA official news agency.

Najib Faris, head of the public railway company, announced there would be four trips a day between the Jibreen and Baghdad stations for up to 600 passengers for each trip.

Once an economic hub, Aleppo has been ravaged in the country's nearly six-year war that has killed more than 310 000 people and displaced millions.

The conflict started in 2011 with the brutal repression on anti-government protests and has since spiralled into a complex war.




What to read next on Traveller24

Festive adventurers rack up 8.8% gain in SA National Parks visitor numbers

Dubai cements 'World's busiest international airport' title with 7.2% growth

Couchsurfing 101: How to not get thrown out of someone’s house

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
7% - 988 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1878 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
79% - 10539 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.20
(-0.63)
ZAR/GBP
20.32
(-0.45)
ZAR/EUR
18.12
(-0.61)
ZAR/AUD
11.20
(-0.65)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.78)
Gold
1809.97
(+0.12)
Silver
23.29
(-0.15)
Platinum
963.00
(+0.40)
Brent Crude
48.73
(+1.57)
Palladium
2368.48
(+2.46)
All Share
57923.69
(+0.31)
Top 40
53084.13
(+0.27)
Financial 15
11645.28
(+0.04)
Industrial 25
79993.34
(+0.20)
Resource 10
52790.93
(+0.35)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo