Over 1,000 Syria Rebels Leave Damascus Area in Evacuation Deal

Evacuation Deal Sends People to Idlib Province

Syria has reached another deal on evacuation with another rebel faction near Damascus, with over 1,000 people, including rebels and family members bused out of the Barzeh District, and sent north toward the Idlib Province, which is held by various rebel factions.

Barzeh has been described as a virtual ghost town during the civil war, as the rebel presence and the constant fighting around the periphery has made it, like a lot of Damascus suburbs, profoundly unsafe. As fighting has turned against the rebels, more and more have been willing to make deals.

The government has been eager to make such deals, as actually engaging in urban fighting to remove the rebels is a messy proposition, and they appear to much prefer having them evacuated into the north, which at the very least clears more of the area around the capital city.

In the end, such evacuation deals are filling Idlib up with a lot of rebels, and while there is some infighting among them, it’s also such a large force it may be very difficult for Syria’s military to ever retake these areas, making the displacements potentially the start of a permanent division within Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.