The electricity has been restored in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo for the first time in Syria’s seven-year war, Electricity Minister Zuheir Kharboutli announced on Friday.
The electricity situation in Aleppo will be similar to other Syrian provinces after the people of Aleppo have been using electricity generators and batteries throughout the years-long crisis.
Kharboutli said the project to restore the electricity has cost the government 7 billion Syrian pounds (roughly 14 million US dollars).
The electricity power lines, which had been destroyed by war, has been restored on a distance of 173 km between the central province of Hama and Aleppo.
The electricity will feed Aleppo city and its eastern countryside, the minister added.
He blamed the “terrorist groups” for the years-long outage, as the rebels have destroyed the electricity stations in Aleppo and also the power lines in that province to pressure the government into succumbing.
Meanwhile, the minister attributed the return of electricity, and the improvement in the electricity situation in comparison with the long rationing hours before, to the Syrian military operations, which enabled the government to retrieve oil and gas fields that had fallen to the rebels during the war.
The minister noted that the government has exerted all efforts to restore the economic, industrial and service production in Aleppo, Syria’s industrial capital.
“Aleppo is in the heart of the Syrian government and it’s the graveyard of the terrorists,” he said.
Restoring the electricity to Aleppo was a popular demand, particularly by the Aleppo industrialists, who told Xinhua recently that the lack of electricity is the major hurdle to the return of the production wheel in Aleppo, the economic and industrial capital of Syria.
The Syrian army wrested full control over Aleppo city in December of last year, after driving out the rebels from the eastern part of the city.
Still, various rebel groups and Kurdish militias are present in the countryside of Aleppo, but the city is entirely under the government control.
Earlier on Friday, local media reports said the rebels in the countryside of Aleppo fired mortar shells and improvised rockets on the Jamiyet al-Zahra neighborhood, killing two people and wounding eight others, some critically wounded.
The return of electricity on Friday was apparently timed to coincide with the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival.