Months after it was wrestled back from the control of terrorist group Daesh, life in the Syrian town of al-Bab is back to normal. Locals now prepare to mark the first Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice, also known as Qurban Bayram) in post-Daesh al-Bab. Workers plant trees on the roadside, clean up streets and repair damaged boardwalks, while a marketplace for sacrificial animals is full of the faithful picking cattle and sheep to slaughter in Friday's festival.
Syrian opposition forces backed by Turkey took back the town in February thanks to Operation Euphrates Shield. Since then, they have tried to restore a sense of normalcy to the lives of locals whose number grows every day. More Syrians return to their hometown, which is among the few places spared from the ongoing civil war nowadays.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ahmed Sharif, a member of the town council, said clashes with Daesh left streets heavily damaged and they are rebuilding the streets and infrastructure.
Abu Abdo hails from Azaz, another town liberated from Daesh, and he traveled to the animal market in al-Bab to purchase an animal for sacrifice. He complained about the high prices though he finds it understandable as the conflict made it difficult to raise animals for slaughter. "For me, it will be the first Eid without Daesh in three years," Abdo said.
Khaldun Ramadan, a seller in the marketplace, said sales are low, as they cannot take their animals to sell in more populated areas under the control of Assad forces. "Prices are high because of a shortage of fodder for animals and lack of pastures," he said. Still, he does not complain much as more people visit the marketplace since the liberation of al-Bab.
Relative stability prevails in al-Bab and other areas in Syria's north since they were liberated from Daesh control. Thousands of Syrian refugees among nearly three million living in Turkey head home every day to spend eid in their hometowns, including al-Bab.