After weeks of fighting, Syria and the rebels in the Wadi Barada valley have reached a deal in which the rebels will be allowed to safely withdraw from the area, giving the Assad government control over a vital valley which provides water supplies to most of the capital city.
Syrian forces enter Ain al-Fija on Saturday, the town which has a major pumping station which the government has struggled to keep control of, and to keep running at all. Fighting in the area further damaged infrastructure, worsening water shortages in Damascus, though officials say they expect to have the repairs done quickly now that they can safely get teams in.
The two sides had previously made deals on getting the infrastructure repaired, though with fighting continuing to rage, this mostly didn’t happen. The rebel pullout, while resolving this, also adds to government control of metro Damascus, which is now nearly absolute.
It is unclear how many rebels were left in the area, and where they will withdraw to. Previous deals have mostly sent rebels to Idlib Province, but that province is seeing a huge surge in infighting among different rebel factions, which may make safely busing new factions into the area difficult.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike in Return for Improved Rights - May 27th, 2017
- Trump's Peace Push Has Netanyahu Looking to Expand His Coalition - May 26th, 2017
- 52 Killed in Heavy Fighting in the Libyan Capital - May 26th, 2017
- Iraqi Forces Drop Leaflets Urging Mosul Residents to Flee - May 26th, 2017
- Egypt Launches Airstrikes Against Libya Islamist Camps - May 26th, 2017