Syria: Kids in Deir ez-Zor return to school after IS siege is lifted

Children of Deir ez-Zor started the school year on Wednesday, after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) broke the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) siege of the city. Children started their classes right on schedule with many are still getting used to a new normal. «We were besieged for three years, and yet we went to school, mortars were falling and people were injured. Now we came... Еще to school and we have lessons,» said one of the pupils. «The siege is broken, thank God, we are happy, excited and jovial. We wish things would improve even more,» added a teacher. As the city is adjusting to a new life, a lot still has to be done to bring Deir ez-Zor schools back to a full operation. One student said, «We need everything — clothes, shoes, and full stationery to come to school, so [we can] write, read and get back to normal again.» On Tuesday, SAA units had linked up with the previously-surrounded troops, thus breaking a three-year-long siege of the government-held enclave of Deir ez-Zor, with the help of the SAA Tiger Forces (also known as the Qawat Al-Nimr). Deir ez-Zor, which is situated southeast of IS' former stronghold of Raqqa, has been under siege by IS since 2014.
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