Syria Detains Over 300 ‘Fighting Age Men’ After Homs Evacuation

Only 41 Released So Far After Questioning

After the first three days of ceasefire in Homs Old City, 1,151 civilians have fled the rebel-held neighborhood. Some 336 of those civilians were detained almost immediately by the Syrian government.

The reason: the Syrian government determined they were “fighting age men,” and has to vet them to make sure they aren’t rebels pretending to be civilians to get out of the neighborhood, which is entirely surrounded by the military.

The Homs Governor claimed around 100 have been released so far, though the UN said it could only confirm 41 releases around the same time. The “screening” of the detained refugees has the UN complaining, because they aren’t allowing the UN to watch the interviews.

Aid experts expressed surprise at how many young men fled as non-combatants during the evacuation, as it had been assumed they would’ve virtually all been pressed into service by the rebels by now.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.