Syria, Rebels Reach Deal to End Siege in Daraa

FSA rebels will hand over light arms under deal

A new reconciliation deal in Syria’s southern Daraa al-Balad will end the siege of the city, which has been in place since late June when the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels in the city refused to hand over light arms to Russian military police. Under the deal, all light arms will be handed over.

The siege has caused growing shortages in the city, and concerns from many that a humanitarian crisis could happen in the area. Syria’s government had threatened to invade the area and forcibly disarm the rebels.

Under the deal, the al-Saraya checkpoint has been reopened. Syrian military reinforcements will return to bases, and pro-government militias in the area will be disarmed alongside the rebels. Syria will be allowed to keep three checkpoints in the area, so long as the roads to the city remain reopened.

Syria is still seeking 135 people in the area who were wanted for security offenses. There has not been a deal yet on them, but those involved in the deal said it will be settled in the coming days.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.