Jaysh al-Tawhid and the Rastan Operations Room Factions Hand Over Their Heavy Weaponry to Russian Forces

Alexander Falconer | 3 May, 2018

Jaysh al-Tawhid and the Rastan Operations Room factions handed over their heavy weaponry to Russian military forces on Thursday, as part of a reconciliation agreement with the Syrian government in northern Homs Governorate. 

A range of images shared by activists on social media showed the equipment - consisting of tanks, artillery guns, and machine guns loaded onto armoured cars - being handed over to the Russian forces.  

On Wednesday, the negotiating committee representing northern Homs and southern Hama governorates affirmed that it had agreed on the militants' exit and the delivery of weapons, which were among several conditions put forth by the Russian side.  

The committee said in a statement: "We have reached an agreement with the Russian side for a full ceasefire, with heavy weaponry to be delivered within three days. Anyone locally who does not agree to the reconciliation will leave the area as of next Sunday".  

According to the statement, the two sides agreed to the entry of Russian military police as well as civilian police after the exit of the last militant convoy from northern Homs. In accordance with the agreement, each militant is permitted to leave with a rifle and three magazines, in addition to personal possessions and household furniture.

Regarding those that wish to stay, the statement says that they must hand over their personal weapons as part of the reconciliation, which will last for an initial period of six months. After this period, locals will be subject to obligatory military conscription by the Syrian Army. 

The agreement will include conscription of civilians between the ages of 18 and 42; in exchange, these civilians will be granted freedom of movement throughout Syria's regions. 

Relating to this, the agreement was rejected by the factions Tahrir al-Sham, Syria Liberation Front, the Ras al-Safuf Operations Room, the Ahl al-Sunna wal Jamaa organisation, the Tahrir al-Watan Movement, al-Faylaq al-Rabia, and Faylaq al-Sham. These groups said that rather they would continue fighting "until the last breath".  


Translated By: Alexander Falconer