The town of Basira in Deir ez-Zour is seeing an economic revival after being liberated from ISIS in 2017. Shopkeepers say that the markets are flourishing with merchants and buyers.
In the western outskirts of the Deir ez-Zour province, the town of Basira has been steadily recovering from years of occupation under ISIS. Located along the intersections of the Euphrates and Khabur Rivers, Basira occupies a location that is both strategic and vital to local economic life.
The town was under the control of ISIS militants until November 2017 upon which it came under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Years of ISIS rule and the subsequent fighting had caused significant damage to the town. However, since the defeat of ISIS militants, locals of Basira have been returning to their town and slowly rebuilding it.
This has been a common feature across Deir ez-Zour, where ISIS had an almost total grip on the entire province as recently as 2016. However, since the SDF began launching major operations to liberate eastern Syria with the help of the International Coalition, the group has lost all its territories in the province.
As a result, reconstruction efforts, which was once confined to the western parts of the province, are now becoming commonplace eastwards, with the town of Basira being one of the most successful examples of life returning following the end of ISIS rule. These efforts have been largely facilitated by the increased security and stability in the province following the demise and defeat of ISIS.
Coupled with the numerous reconstruction projects that are taking place in the province and specifically in the town of Basira, businesses have been revived and markets have been bustling with activity as more residents return to their homes. This has allowed the local economy to pick up immensely after years of isolation and economic degradation under ISIS rule.
Syrians across Deir ez-Zour and, have suffered through years of war, isolation and terror. But here in Basira, locals hope that the worst is behind them and life can, once again, continue in peace.