Syria Daily: De-Escalation Zone Agreed in Northern Homs

Talbiseh, north of Homs city, August 3, 2017 (Mahmoud Taha/AFP)

Syria’s rebels and the Assad regime have agreed a de-escalation zone in northern Homs Province, in an arrangement brokered by Russia.

A truce took effect at noon on Thursday. in the area north of Homs city.

According to a copy of the agreement posted online, rebels can retain their weapons and remain in the province. Detainees on both sides will be released, and an initial aid convoy with food and medicine will enter the area on Monday.

Russian military police will man checkpoints at three locations on the edge of the zone, with up to 40 personnel — including two commanders — as well as a representative of the rebels and the regime’s military at each point. The Russians will have the power to inspect goods and to oversee the entry and exit of civilians from Homs and Hama Province.

The Homs-Hama highway, a section of which runs through the heart of the opposition area, will reportedly be reopened.

The deal also has provisions for fighters of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham bloc and the Islamic State, both of whom are excluded from any truces brokered by Russia. HTS personnel will have their safety guaranteed until September 10 but must then have departed. They will be subject to attack after that point, but coordinates for any operation must be supplied to ensure civilian safety.

One resident estimated that about 1,000 HTS fighters are still in the area, primarily in the eastern periphery.

“We Just Want A Way Out”

Samer Sleiman, an activist from the Houleh area, said residents are “pleased” with the agreement: “The siege has exhausted them in every way.”

The opposition has controlled the northern Homs pocket since 2012. Previous ceasefires have not held amid regime bombardment and siege. As recently as Monday, airstrikes were carried out on two towns.

“Everything depends on Russia,” said Abu Khaled, a resident of al-Dar al-Kabirah. “If Russia wants the regime to abide by the agreement, then it will.”

He added, “We’re so tired of the siege, the hunger, the bombing. We just want a way out.”

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  1. 1. AAS v HTS ‘truce’ is holding up well in Idlib:

    2. Russian “Peace Deal” in Rastan Pocket was apparently brokered with the able assistance of The Butcher of Rabaa Square, Generalísimo Sisi, so you just know it’s designed with [the utter destruction of] CIA-Cornfed MB-type ‘rebels’ in mind:

    3. CIA cyberwarfare vassals in S.Korea caught rigging general elections:

    Hmmn, food for thought … surely such anti-democratic shenanigans could never happen in the NATO Happy Homelands as a matter of course, right? No, I’m sure it’s just a one-off each and every time … so that’s absolutely fine then …

    • in every way…kettle calling the pot black. It is always entertaining how you always fail to point out the differences between the your fascist lords and governance in the west

        • From Media Fact Check;

          “The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) is a widely accessed international socialist news site that is the online news and information center of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The site is closely associated with the Trotskyist Socialist Equality Party. The World Socialist Web Site publishes articles and analysis of news and events all around the world updated on a daily basis. The American right-wing press has referenced the World Socialist Web Site as an example of left-wing extremism (The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 29 March 2006). WSWS uses loaded words in headlines and articles. They have a strong pro-socialist bias in reporting, however they generally source to credible media sources. (5/5/2017)”

    • #1) HTS & AaS, both vehemently anti-US and anti-West and friends of communists everywhere. Fed and nurtured by Erdo’wan Kenobi — a US-hater & anti-democracy, and a communist lover. Did you see how the lefties in Turkey supported religio-fascist Erdo’an in the coup against him?

      #2) “Butcher of Egypt”? You mean the guy who brought down the religio-fascist friends of communists after 11 million Egyptians demonstrated in the streets? Surely another CIA job! LMAO

      #3) The Russian secret service interfere in all western democracy elections, not to mention Russian elections, and you are quiet. But when the S. Koreans do that to their OWN elections, it is now a CIA plot? Why would the CIA even bother to interfere in an SK election? That they may want to join socialist utopia NK? Again, I suspect you have run out of medicine – insurance has stopped paying?

      • #1a) Both HTS & AaS have also been fed and nurtured by Yankistan, whether directly or through their poxy FSA cut-outs as the NYT now admits, yet not even that could stop you from voting for The Psycho-HoseBeest who gleefully pushed this brainwave.

        #1b) I can’t blame HTS & AaS for being opposed to the blood-drenched imperialist warcriminal scum of Yankistan, [come on, I mean, what reasonable person isn’t?] but did not previously know they are also “friends of communists everywhere“, so thank you for this keen insight … I shall anticipate meeting their delegates at the next Soviet Internationale.

        #1c) I can’t blame Taqiyya Tayyip for being opposed to the blood-drenched imperialist warcriminal scum of Yankistan, [come on, I mean, what reasonable person isn’t?] but did not previously know he is also “a communist lover“, so thank you for this keen insight … I shall anticipate meeting him at the next Soviet Internationale.

        #2) “Butcher of Egypt”? Yes, I mean the delightful chap who ordered the mass murder of civilian protesters demonstrating against his illegal coup d’état, fully backed by the blood-drenched imperialist warcriminal scum of Yankistan who have hiked their weapons deliveries to this filthy pet dictator ever since.

        #3a) “The Russian secret service interfere in all western democracy [sic] elections” … er, evidence please? And try to remember that running a news agency does not count, due to your precious ‘freedom of speech’ and all that rot.

        #3b) “… and you are quiet.” … I think upon more carefully reviewing the record here on EAW you will discover just how wrong you are, as I from the outset have more than anyone loudly revelled in and promoted the hysterical ‘Russian Election-Stealing’ conspiracy theory, if only as an ironic form of reverse psychological warfare to accentuate the severe madness already sweeping the Yanki enemy ranks.

        #3c) As a militarily-occupied vassal nation, same as Germany or Japan, the SK Gestapo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CIA and operates only with its bene placet. This case of criminally heaving the daughter of their former pet dictator/butcher into power demonstrates the truly antithetical relationship this corrupt Yanki warcriminal organisation has to the fundamental concept of democracy and reflects that the manoeuvre can as easily happen in the Imperial HomeLand, although foolish hoo-rah hypocrites would be crowing loudly.

        #3d) Would it ever occur to you that just maybe the majority of S. Koreans would prefer to peaceably reunite with their brethren in the DPRK, under whatever political format they may mutually agree? The blood-drenched imperialist warcriminal scum of Yankistan should GTFO and let them get on with it!

  2. #National: ” Turkish threats to Efrin made YPG draw closer to SAA, claim of secret joint ops room.” – aronlund
    What’s the phrase? Put up (ie flood rebel areas with heavy weaponry) or shut up?
    #Idlib: “Hamza BA Brig. ambushed 4 pro-Assad near #Fuah. Group is part of Ahrar, known for infiltration ops & coming from W. #Damascus.” – QalaatAlMudiq
    This is exactly what rebels should be doing everywhere and often. Raid regime positions for the weaponry and re-distribute any heavy weaponry so rebels have the means to fight the regime without begging for help from the US.
    #Homs: 1) “Russia’n MP entered regime held Dayr al-Fardis at rebel held northern #Homs pocket” – markito0171
    De-escalation my a*se, the rebel pocket in Homs is the next target and the de-escalation agreement is just a trick to move Russian/Assadist troops and heavy weaponry into the area first before the regime attempts to clear it out Ghouta-style. The rebels should start preparing for the worse because this is a definite sign of a build-up.
    2) “Ahrar_al_Sham shelling #Assad regime position in Northern #Homs pocket with SPG-9.” – worldonalert
    Ambushing regime troops via infiltration and surprise night-time mobile warfare operations is the only way to go.

  3. [UN] Commission revealed that as the Syrian Democratic Forces and international coalition offensive on Raqqa intensifies, reports have emerged of ISIL fighters trying to sell enslaved Yazidi women and girls before attempting to flee Syria.” 8/3/2017

    YJŞ fighters: We are in Raqqa to free Êzidî women

    Fighters of the Shengal Women’s Units (YJŞ) said: “We are fighting in Raqqa to avenge and free the Êzidî women.” 8/3/2017

    The deputy commander of the Army of Revolutionaries, or Jaysh al-Thuwar, Ahmed al-Sultan, said on Monday that they will start to recruit women, after being inspired by the heroism of Kurdish and Arab female fighters in the ranks of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). 8/1/2017

  4. #Russia & #Syrian Regime Seeking to Poach U.S.-Backed Rebels -at #Tanf near #Syria / #Jordan border by @rabrowne75… 8/3/2017

    MaT willing to go to SDF-held Shaddadi as long as they 1) do not have to coordinate with SDF 2) do not have to be related to SDF 3) are guaranteed that Deir ez-Zour will be fully for MaT 8/4/2017

    A SDF source: We refuse proposal by Maghawir al-Thawra. Instead we plan to send Al-Sanadid Forces to capture northern Deir ezZor countryside 8/4/2017

    • Must really burn up Barbar to see the PYD communists working so closely with the Empire. What happened to socialist international camaraderie and the fight against Imperialism? Either way, the losers are always the Trotskyists.

      • Not in the least, as already explained I completely understand their decision to accept the only hope for physical survival being offered at the time.

        For comparison, I’m confident that if you faced the stark choice of being overrun by ISIS and converted into one of their internet advertorials, or accepting the help of armed Trotskyists to escape that fate, you’d also naturally jump at the latter chance rather than make some futile last stand upon dogmatic purity.

        Further, I fail to see how “the Trotskyists” lost anything by the PYD’s pragmatic decision, as I had not previously realised they had any political capital invested there.

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