Implementation of Evacuation Agreement Begins in Northern Homs

Alexander Falconer | 7 May, 2018

The evacuation agreement for northern Homs and southern Hama governorates began its implementation on Tuesday May 7, after being agreed upon by the negotiation committee and Russian forces the previous week.

Activists reported on Tuesday buses entering the town of Rastan in northern Homs to transport the first wave of displaced people from the region to an opposition-held part of northern Syria. Local residents assembled near to the Rastan bridge as the buses were arriving. Informed sources said that it was likely that the destination of the first wave of residents would be the Jarablus region in northern Aleppo Governorate. 

The negotiation committee representing northern Homs and southern Hama reached an agreement with the Russian military last Wednesday which specified a comprehensive ceasefire in the area. The agreement also included a hand-over of heavy weaponry within three days; any local who did not want to reach a reconciliation with the Syrian government had to leave. 

The agreement includes the entry of Russian military police as well as civilian police forces after the exit of the last convoy from the area. Every fighter has the right under the agreement to bring with him a rifle and three ammunition magazines, as well as personal possessions and household furniture. 

The Jaysh al-Tawhid and Rastan Operations Room militias have handed over their heavy weaponry to Syrian government forces under the agreement's terms. The factions Tahrir al-Sham, the Syria Liberation Front, Faylaq al-Sham, al-Faylaq al-Rabia, Jaysh al-Azza, the Ras al-Safuf Operations Room, and the Tahrir al-Watan Movement have rejected the deal and insisted on continuing to fight.

Translated By: Alexander Falconer