Syria Daily: Regime Celebrates Forced Removals from al-Wa’er in Homs


1,500 people leave in first set of removals of 15,000 from last opposition district in Homs


The Assad regime celebrated the first batch of forced removals on Saturday from al-Wa’er, the last opposition-held district in Syria’s third-largest city Homs.

About 1,500 rebels, family members, and other civilians departed for Jarablus in northern Syria on the Turkish border. Up to 15,000 of the estimated 50,000 people in the district will eventually leave over the next six weeks, in one of the largest forced removals of the six-year conflict.

See Syria Photos: The Removal of the People of al-Wa’er

Last week, after four years of siege and regular bombardment, the opposition capitulated in an agreement brokered by the Russian military. The Russians replaced Iranian officials to mediate and guarantee the arrangements, including safe passage to Jarablus and Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

A Russian colonel said on State TV on Saturday, “This agreement was reached only under the patronage of the Russian side.”

The Governor of Homs Province, Talal Barazi, said, “The preparations and the reality on the ground indicate that things will go well….We are optimistic that the full exit of armed [men] from this district will pave the way for other reconciliations and settlements.”

In December, tens of thousands of people were moved from eastern Aleppo as pro-Assad forces reoccupied all of Syria’s largest city after incessant bombing and a four-month siege. Other “reconciliation” deals have been struck near Damascus, although the Assad regime and its allies are currently breaking some of them — notably with offensives against the towns of Barzeh and Qaboun — in an attempt to expand control.

The head of the Homs Media Center said of the removals, “Because there is zero trust in Assad’s government, that’s why the numbers are high….For years, it has besieged us…and bombed people’s homes.”

He said that many people feared arrested if they stayed, and that he was joining the departures: “People are going to live in tents, in refugee camps. They are willing to leave their homes, their land, towards the unknown.”

Video: The Mosque Annex Bombed by US, Killing 56 People

Bilal Abdul Kareem of On The Ground News takes viewers through the mosque annex bombed by US manned and unmanned warplanes on Thursday, killing 56 people.

The Pentagon claimed on Friday that it struck an “Al Qa’eda meeting” in a building across from the al-Khattab mosque in al-Jina in western Aleppo Province. However, residents confirmed that the building was an assembly and dining hall, being used by about 300 people for evening prayers.

See Syria Daily, March 18: US Tries to Deny Deadly Attack on Mosque

Rebel Counter-Offensive in Northeast Damascus

Rebels have launched a sudden counter-offensive in the Jobar section of northeast Damascus, taking several buildings and attempting to reach a key roundabout.

The attacking forces include Faylaq al-Rahman and some fighters of the jihadist bloc Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, coordinating with the Free Syrian Army, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jaish al-Islam units fighting the Assad regime on nearby fronts.

The advance began with two vehicle bombs, about 250 meters behind the frontline. It has reportedly taken an electricity station (see map) and is trying capture a transport garage near the al-Abbasiyeen roundabout.

The regime has reportedly carried out about 24 airstrikes to try and check the attacks.

Rebels are hoping to counter a pro-Assad offensive which has been trying in recent weeks to take the nearby suburbs of Barzeh, Qaboun, and Tishreen, despite “reconcilation” agreements from early 2014. Pro-opposition activists says rebels have established a link between the Jobar and Qaboun units.

A pro-Assad activist acknowledges:

Image of one of the vehicle bombs launching the counter-offensive:

JOBAR VBIED 19-03-17

Videos of smoke rising from the attacks:

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  1. damn assadist and all the invaders…this is what they wish for..partition of syria… religious and ethnic cleansing…wiped the sunni muslim from this earth or chased them out from their homes…

  2. A brilliant Al-Jazeera documentary about the infamous Syrian tyrant Abdul Hamid Al Sarraj, a man whose methods of torture and tyranny inspired Bashar Al Assad’s father Hafez Al Assad:
    Definite recommend and in case any one doesn’t know who Abdul Hamid Al Sarraj is here’s a wiki link:
    Tyrants are never original rather they copy from other tyrants, just like the Arab mukhabarat/secret-police copy from each other.

  3. #Damascus: Huge if true “1- Situation is getting worse for Assad regime in Damascus City, these minutes. FSA rebels took control of some strategic points in the city. 2 – They also cut the electricity and communications lines in the city. 3 – For the moment, rebels are only 600 meters away from the Abbasieen square, which is the main landmark in the centre of Damascus City. 4 – Assad regime closed the Agriculture College and evacuated students as clashes btween rebels and regime are getting closer to city centre. 5 – All universities and schools are closed in Damascus City. 6 – 4 Assadite tanks and 3 23-mm guns are destroyed, 65 Assadite fighters are killed since the clashes began this morning in Damascus City. 7 – 44 SAA personnel, including 9 officers, are captured by the rebels since this morning in Damascus. 8 – Still no electricity in Damascus as the power station providing the city with electricity is under rebels’ control since this morning. 11 – Damascus streets in regime-held areas of the city are almost empty these minutes. Only cars and tanks. 12 – 15 SAA and Russian airstrikes on Damascus, but rebels still advance. 15 – Rebels seized Mercedes office in Damascus, minutes ago. 16 – 4th VBIED action in Damascus City, 20 min ago, followed by new offensive against SAA forces. 17 – Activists say the death toll for SAA rose to over 85.” – fuadhud
    I hope rebels elsewhere have paid attention to this because this is EXACTLY how an urban warfare operation should be done, all that is missing is use of use of land-mine traps/weaponised drones/ATGM strikes but otherwise brilliant operational planning. Let’s just hope rebels in Damascus ‘hug front-line’ with regime troops by making sure rebel units are ALWAYS one block behind or in front of regime units so no Russian airstrike can be called on those positions.
    Apparently this is the live feed from the area rebels are attacking in Damascus:

  4. #Damascus: 1) It seems we are witnessing the fruits of rebel intiative already “Unconfirmed: Syrian rebels from east Ghouta reached al Qabun districted.” – NorthernStork
    If only rebels in Deraa had enough manpower (can’t because of Daeesh in Yarmouk) to launch an offensive to capture Khirbet Al-Ghazalah as well as capture even more parts of Deraa city in coordination with rebel offensive in Damascus then this weekend would be perfect for the rebels in the southern half of Syria. That said Hama front needs to activate too if rebels there want to help rebels in Damascus, if rebels in Hama don’t have the manpower to launch offensive then atleast start launching (motorbike or dune-buggies?) raids and ambushes as well inflicting lots of indirect fire (e.g. mortar/ATGM shelling etc) on regime positions (especially important regime infrastructural areas so rebels can do economic warfare at the same time as guerrilla warfare).
    2) LOL! Typical Assadists when rebels unexpectedly take offensive to them guess what they do? The following “reports that Assad regime has executed soldiers & civilians for refusing to obey orders” – Malcolmite
    3) But wait news gets better if the following true too “Rebels have infiltrated Al Tajarah Neighborhood” – SyrianLense
    Like I said in the above paragraph, if it weren’t for the accursed Daeesh in Yarmouk now would be the perfect time for rebels in Deraa province to not only launch an offensive on Khirbet Al-Ghazalah but to escalate their offensive in the northern part of Deraa city.
    4) ” Syronics Buildings are last complex to take in order to break years long siege on #Qabun. E. #Damascus.” – QalaatAlMudiq
    Lets hope the rebels have enough ATGM and heavy artillery operators to take it out quickly.

  5. #Damascus: This has the makings of a huge defeat for the regime (bravo to rebels for getting operational planning so right that they can achieve all this quickly) if true “19 – Rebels claim to break the siege of Qaboon, about 1 hr ago. 20 – Rebels ambushed a huge Assadite reinforcement from Aleppo on Ithriyah-Damascus road, 1 hr ago. Lots of killed. 23 – Reports of fire in the building of the Syrian Parliament, 30 min ago. 25 – The whole of Damascus is in darkness as electricity is still off. 26 – Reports of clashes between SAA fighters and foreign pro-Assad Shia militants in Damascus. Casualties reported. 27 – Unconfirmed reports that Russian Army officials hastily leave Damascus for Latakia. 28 – Rebels cut Damascus International Highway, 15 min ago. 29 – Huge blast near TV station in Umayyad Square, Damascus, minutes ago. This is at the very centre of the city.” – fuadhud
    So let’s get this right: Siege is broken (objective achieved), rebel’s have cut not only regime’s supply route to the north is cut (same the gas and water supplies couldn’t be cut 🙂 ) but also it’s electricity supply? Not only that but that Hezbollah and the Republican Guards are now fighting each other (which means regime can’t take the fight to rebels because of infighting which means rebels still have the initiative for another day? Regime’s propaganda/tv centre is now going to be out (so no more lying) of business? I see why the Russians are now leaving like rats on a sinking ship. All this Damascus offensive to become bigger is if rebels in Hama/Deraa escalate offensives in their areas also.

  6. #Damascus: 1) UN-BELIEVABLE!!! “30 – Rebels shelling Assad’s Presidential Palace by rockets, 30 min ago.” – fuadhud
    For the first time rebels are shelling Assad’s Presidential Palace. Lets hope rebels get close enough to Damascus airbase to start shelling that too. BTW it’s quite quiet today considering what’s happening today – where is everyone?
    2) “31 – 6 Russian warplanes bombing rebels’ newly gained positions in Damascus, these minutes.” – fuadhud
    Lets hope rebels remember the Chechens and ‘hug’ the front lines (ie be always a block behind or in front of regime units) with regime units and now would be the ideal time for rebels to start using their motorbike assault teams as well as any weaponised drones they might have.
    #Aleppo: “ISIS reportedly destroyed several buses carrying Regime troops on Ithriya-Khanasser highway with IEDs.” – QalaatAlMudiq
    I can now see @interbrigades now saying ‘exhibit 1001 – rebels still blind’. To which I say activate the Hama front soon.
    #Hama: “#ISIS has destroyed/damaged the third (!) #Assad T-72 tank northeast of #Salamiyah. 4 #ATGM strikes in northeastern #Hama today.” – worldonalert
    What did I say about the Salamiyah area? Because it’s mainly flat desert it’s an area where raids/ambushes are easily done yet for some reasons rebels don’t launch raids/ambushes/mobile-warfare operations around the Salamiyah area often

  7. #Damascus: A possible icing on the cake! “Unconfirmed reports of Israeli airstrikes in Damascus” – JohnArterbury
    Lets have 10 more days of this (ie intense rebel offensives and Israeli airstrikes) and we just might see Assad flee towards Hmmeeim airbase in Latakia! 🙂

  8. They say be careful what you wish for — I estimate Bilal *will* get a response from the Trump administration for showing up the Yanki murderers’ lies, but he won’t love to hear it, coming as it most likely will in the form of a Hellfire missile bearing his name.

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