A brief ceasefire in the Old City neighborhood of Homs has been extended, and will last an additional three days according to the United Nations, who says the deal will allow even more shipments of humanitarian aid to people who have been trapped inside for upwards of a year now.
While the extension of the ceasefire is surely welcome news, it isn’t clear that there will be many civilians left in the neighborhood by the end of the ceasefire, as Red Crescent aid trucks have been evacuating as many as they can carry, and after 611 left yesterday got another 300 today.
Most of the population of Homs’ inner city had fled over the course of fighting, but those who waited too long, an estimated 2,500 of them, got caught in the Old City when the military began seiging the rebel-held area.
During the Geneva II peace talks, the Syrian government agreed that they would let any civilians who want to flee out, and promised aid for them. Keeping open the window will hopefully allow the bulk of what’s left a chance to get out.