Thousands of Syrian school children started their academic year on time on Sunday after concern that schools would not open on schedule due to threats of a US military strike.
In Damascus, many school buildings had been transformed into barracks to house personnel fleeing military sites that could be targets in a strike that US President Barack Obama said would be punishment for an alleged chemical attack on August 21.
By Sunday morning most soldiers had moved out, in a sign that President Bashar Assad's government no longer fears strikes following a deal negotiated by the United States and Russia under which he would destroy his chemical arsenal.
The streets of Damascus were busy again on Sunday after weeks of anticipation of military action. Some major roads were gridlocked with traffic.