Deal Signed to Allow Rebels to Withdraw From Syrian City of Homs

Rebels Will Be Taken to Idlib Province

by Jason Ditz, March 13, 2017

A negotiated settlement has been reached between the Syrian government and rebels in the al-Waer District of the city of Homs, which will see rebel evacuations, potentially beginning as soon as Saturday, with evacuations expecting to last as long as 6-8 weeks.

Deals to evacuate rebels from surrounded districts have become increasingly common in the civil war, and the increase in Syrian airstrikes against the neighborhood in recent weeks likely was the final straw to convince the rebels to ditch this particular district.

According to those familiar with the deal, the evacuees will be sent to the northern part of Idlib Province and the town of Tel Abyad along the Turkish border. There has been a lot of fighting in the southern part of Idlib recently, but the north has been somewhat calmer.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights loudly criticized the deal, saying they believe the aim is to displace the civilian population of al-Waer as well as the rebel fighters. Estimates say as many as 12,000 civilians may evacuate with the fighters.

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