After hours-long meetings and discussions, the military and civilian actors in the Waer district of the city of Homs reached a “preliminary agreement” with the Syrian regime providing for the return of the previous deals in the district, which Assad’s forces had later reversed. The new deal stresses affixing the ceasefire and lifting the siege on the district and the departure of those fighters who wish to leave Waer.
The deal was the result of talks between the negotiations council in the Waer district with the head of the General Intelligence Division in Homs, General Mohamed Deeb Zeitoun, on Wednesday, August 31, which stipulated the end of bombardment and the return to the state of temporary truce.
A deal was also reached to hold a future session with representatives from the two sides to discuss the issue of releasing prisoners and a batch of those who want to leave the district.
Items of the previous deal:
At the end of 2015, the Waer district saw a truce between the opposition and Assad’s forces under United Nations sponsorship and implemented on three levels, with each level linked to compliance with the previous one.
The first level stipulated a complete ceasefire and the departure of all those working to breach or derail it to outside the district, as well as presenting a list of medium and light weapons to be turned in during the second stage. It also permitted humanitarian agencies to carry out their work, opening the Al-Muhandiseen roundabout to pedestrians only and preparing lists of missing people and prisoners to be released in the second stage.
The second stage including gathering light and medium weapons through a joint committee composed of the district’s council and a regime council. The weapons remain in storehouses inside the district without being allowed to be used, and this was under the supervision of the joint council. The roads leading to public institutions would be opened and the plans for tunnels and mines in the district would be given with the exception of the Al-Jazira al-Sabeea area. The return of displaced people would be facilitated in addition to releasing prisoners, and turning in medium and heavy weapons in the storehouses to the regime, with the period of time for the implementation being 15 to 20 days.
The third stage included studying and resolving the different issue of Al-Basateen and Al-Jazira al-Sabeea, through meetings between the two sides, and the exit of those fighters who wanted to leave the district.
The previous deals stumbled when the Syrian regime refused to carry out the item regarding releasing prisoners.
Waer is in the west of Homs city, and it is the last opposition stronghold in the city, and throughout the last few days has been subjected to a campaign of heavy bombardment by Assad forces.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.