In March of 1980 the people of Jisr al-Shughur, with a population of 50,000, rose up against the oppressor Hafez al-Assad, who brutally repressed the demonstrations by bombing the city, raiding it with the military and killing hundreds in the streets and summary executions. It wasn’t until April 25, 2015, more than 40 years later that the people of Jisr finally secured their freedom from the son of the tyrant they opposed over four decades earlier.
On Tuesday, the free people of Jisr al-Shughur and the liberated areas commemorated the eighth anniversary of the liberation of the city from the Assad regime by Jaish al-Fatah. The Syrian conflict, which began in 2011, saw hundreds of thousands of people killed and millions displaced from their homes. The liberation of Jisr al-Shughur was a pivotal moment in the conflict, as it marked a turning point in the balance of power between the regime and opposition forces. One commander from Ahrar al-Sham said that it, “is more important than Idlib itself.”
For years, Jisr had been under the control of the Assad regime, with the local population facing constant oppression and abuse. The town had become a symbol of resistance against the regime, with many residents taking part in protests and demonstrations. However, the Assad regime responded with brute force, using tanks and heavy artillery to crush the opposition.
In 2015 the tide began to turn in favor of the opposition forces. After months of fierce fighting, including a bloody siege, Jisr al-Shughur was finally liberated. Images of rebels and civilians celebrating in the streets quickly spread across social media, offering a glimmer of hope for those who had suffered under Assad’s regime.
The liberation of Jisr al-Shughur was a significant blow to the Assad regime, which had long relied on the town as a strategic stronghold. It also demonstrated the resilience and determination of the opposition forces, who had refused to give up despite overwhelming odds.
However, the aftermath of the liberation was far from easy. The town was left in ruins, with many residents forced to flee their homes. The revolutionary forces, who had taken control, faced new challenges as they struggled to establish order and provide basic services to the people. Today, despite all the hardships Jisr is once again a bustling home to both old and new residents, living a life in dignity, free of Assad’s oppression.
Nevertheless, the anniversary of the liberation of Jisr al-Shughur is an important reminder of the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice in Syria. The town may have been liberated from the Assad regime, but the fight for a better future for the people of Syria is far from over.