Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Rebel Strongpoint in Syria Surrenders to Assad

Homs, flashpoint for clashes, reverts to Assad's control - in exchange for the release of terrorists.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 5/7/2014, 10:40 PM

The besieged city of Homs in Syria has reverted back to the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad Wednesday, as regime forces continue to make gains in the country's ongoing civil war. 

The last rebels are being evacuated by State-run busses to other rebel-held villages, in a landmark deal struck between regime forces and rebels, according to the Telegraph.

For their safety, according to CNN, the rebels have agreed to release Hezbollah terrorists and Iranian officers. Humanitarian relief convoys will also be allowed into two blockaded enclaves in Aleppo, where Syrian citizens have been suffering from starvation for months. 

The UN is monitoring the evacuation process. 

The truce marks a major change in the tide of the civil war, which has raged in Syria since 2011 and killed more than 150,000 people.

While it remains to be seen how the surrender could affect the whole of the war, the deal has symbolic significance, as Homs was highly regarded at the beginning of the conflict as a "capital" of Syrian rebel activity. 

The UN launched a full-scale aid and evacuation mission in Homs in February, which saw at least 1,300 leave in a mass exodus.

UN forces themselves came under fire during the aid mission, and aid workers - as well as reporters at the scene - saw residents suffering from severe starvation. 

Over 250,000 people are estimated to be in at least 40 blockaded cities across Syria, according to recent estimates - where a national hunger crisis is being used as a political tactic.