Syrian workers are rebuilding the M5 highway freed from militants, one of the most important in the country, linking Damascus and Aleppo.
“As soon as our Russian friends helped us to free the M5 highway, we immediately started to work. First we raked up the rubble, there were a lot of them. The sappers had a lot of work – they cleared everything here. Then we started to close up the big holes from mines, put patches. And now the task is to completely change the asphalt on this stretch of two kilometers”, – chief engineer Abnazi Hassan Abi told the reporters.
According to him, the workers were lucky that the militants did not have heavy equipment, and the main damage to the road was from shelling by mortars.
Work does not cease in the western region of Aleppo Zahra – debris is dismantled there. According to an experienced bulldozer driver, Hussein Hashin, it will take at least two years to return these neighborhoods to their pre-war appearance. However, local people are not afraid of either difficulties or possible danger.
“Often we find gas cylinders filled with trotyl, shells. Once, while clearing the rubble, a mine exploded under my bulldozer. It was not here, in another area, several months ago. The bulldozer had to be written off, but I didn’t get hurt! I’m used to it. I’ve been working in the engineering troops for 10 years. When we built the fortifications, even snipers shot at us. This is a dangerous job, but I have to do it”, – Khashin said.
They restore not only homes, but also communications. The water supply, which was protected from shelling and vandalism by a metal box, still leaks a little, and it’s time to change the pipes.
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“After all, this water branch supplies the whole west of Aleppo, several tens of thousands of people get water through it. So, we need to finish these works as soon as possible”, – Nofel Schoman, water utility engineer, explains.