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Four years after the military brought most of the city back under Assad's control, the government is launching its first big reconstruction effort in Homs, planning to erect hundreds of apartment buildings in three neighborhoods in the devastated center of the city.The government estimates reconstruction will cost some $200 billion dollars and last 15 years.It wants to stabilize Syria to allow for millions of refugees to return -- the longer it takes, the less likely it becomes that they will go back.But any support for reconstruction in Syria would buttress Assad and be seen as contributing to the normalization and legitimization of his government. For reconstruction overall, the Syrian government is trying to scrape together financing from Syrian businessmen and expatriates as well as international allies.The plan, to begin later this year, focuses on three of the city's most destroyed districts, Baba Amr, Sultanieh and Jobar, and will rebuild 465 buildings, able to house 75,000 people, at a cost of $4 billion, according to Homs' governor, Talal al-Barrazi.That's under half of the 35,000 housing units that were estimated to have been destroyed in Homs. And it's a small fraction of the 1 million housing units al-Barrazi said Syria will need.Assad's government controls more than half of Syria, including the largest cities and main population centers.
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