People exit Homs under truce with Syrian regime

People have started to leave Homs under local peace deal with Syrian regime, monitoring group said

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Rebel fighters queue as they wait to be evacuated from the Old City of Homs May 8, 2014.

Syrian people have begun leaving the last area in Homs under a ceasefire deal with Assad regime on Wednesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group, announced.

The first vehicle left the western Homs with dozens of people and almost 750 people were expected to exit from the city in a day.

The Observatory's head Rami Abdulrahman stated the number of people includes rebels and civilians with giving priority to women and children.
The United Nations has pioneered on execution of the ceasefire which was approved by the both Syrian sides.

Officials believe the deal can create a domino effect where whole country is pulled to pieces since the war broke out in 2011.

Ali Haidar, Minister for National Reconciliation, said, “The process starts to build trust with those who are willing to exit. Then there will be procedures for the safe and secure exit and this will build trust with local people in Waer.”

US President Barack Obama also stated on Tuesday that, they can initiate pockets of ceasefires in parts of Syria over saving opposition groups from Russian bombings.

World powers called for a nationwide ceasefire and an extension of UN mediation role for Syria during the peace talks in Vienna in October.

Some humanitarian aid arrived Waer, district of Homs, last week under the deal. The agreement also targets stopping the fight between oppositions and regime forces close to Damascus, the capital center of Syria.

Syria's third-largest city Homs has geographic, strategic and economic importance in the country. Before the civil war, its population was around 1.5 million. Protests blew up in the city in the beginning of the riot against the regime leader Bashar al Assad in 2011 and the city has been under government siege since 2012.

In September, Iran and Turkey, which back opposing sides in the Syrian War, contributed efforts to provide local ceasefires in the town of Zabadani, southwestern Syria and in two villages in Idlib.

The four-year-long war in Syria has so far claimed the lives of at least 350,000 people, while displacing half of the country's pre-war population of 22 million internally and in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. At least 350,000 refugees have also sought asylum in European countries.


TRTWorld and agencies