I have my “children and my health, that’s what matters,” said So’ad Daher. The 63-year-old was one among a few hundred residents of Palmyra to make a brief, but emotional return home.
Had there been electricity here today, I wouldn't have returned to Homs.
They discovered a city ravaged by Syria’s five-year civil war, their homes at least partially in ruins. Residents had just a few hours to salvage what remained of their belongings before being bused back to temporary housing some two hours west, in Homs.
One man said he would have liked to have stayed.
“I left my home around 11 months ago. We have been living in Homs. I work in the governorate office of agriculture. Once utilities and services are restored – water and electricity – we will return here. Had there been electricity here today, I wouldn’t have returned to Homs,” he said.
Palmyra and its ancient citadel were retaken by Syrian government forces and their allies in late March, 2016.
Footage released on Thursday (April 14) showed the damage wreaked on the UNESCO World Heritage site in less than a year under the control of ISIL militants.