Meeting held between the Russians and the factions near al-Dar al-Kabira crossing in the northern countryside of Homs to reach an agreement on the truce ongoing for the sixth day in a row • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Meeting held between the Russians and the factions near al-Dar al-Kabira crossing in the northern countryside of Homs to reach an agreement on the truce ongoing for the sixth day in a row

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that a meeting was held between the factions operating in the countryside of Homs and the Russian forces, in the area that separates the Russian forces-held area and the factions-held area, where the meeting was held between both parties near the crossing of Dar al-Kabira on the truce and de-escalation agreement implemented in the northern countryside, and there is no information so far about the details of the agreement reached between them.

The northern countryside of Homs, have been witnessing since the afternoon of the 3rd of August 2017, the implementation of an Egyptian-Russian truce, thanks of which calm has been prevailing the whole northern countryside of Homs, but it was interrupted by breaches of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them and the factions. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 3rd of August 2017 that it received trusted information that on the afternoon of Thursday the 3rd of August 2017, it is expected for a new agreement of “easing the tension and military operations in the northern countryside of Homs” to be applied, this countryside includes the towns of Talbiseh and al-Rastan and the area of al-Houla, as well as other villages and towns in its countryside, with Russian guarantee, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained a copy of the text of the agreement, which states:

  1. The opposition’s commitment to the ceasefire and joining the cessation of hostilities, and welcomes the establishment of a de-escalation area in Homs countryside area, where the borders of the de-escalation zone in the countryside of Homs will be determined and drawn on the map, which includes the geographical coordinates of the contact lines between the disputing parties, hereinafter called the parties.
  2. the opposition commits to cease all types of acts of fighting against the other disputing party, provided that the regime and its allies shall commit to the ceasefire process against the other party, starting at the precise specified hour, specified minute and the date of signature according to Damascus time, the parties guarantee the immediate cessation of the use of air and rocket weapons, artillery and mortars, as well as light weapons from both parties.
  3. Starting from the hour of the date of the ceasefire, the real contact line of the disputed parties is fixed on the map, and is not subject to change during the cessation of hostilities period.
  4. The opposition commits to the absence of any members of Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham organization (Nusra Front formerly) in the areas under its control in the countryside of Homs, and takes all actions to prevent their return or re-emergence there, and confirms its position which refuses ISIS organization in the countryside of Homs and emphasizes the fight against this ideology culturally and militarily.
  5. During the activation period of the de-escalation zone, the parties commit after the breach of this agreement, and the opposition-controlled areas shall not be subjected to any airstrike.
  6. Any breach by any party, against it shall be applied what came in the violations-documenting mechanisms in this agreement.
  7. the opposition agrees about the necessity of taking required procedures to improve the humanitarian situation in the de-escalation zone in the countryside of Homs, and to this end in the first phase, both parties will ensure as a showing for goodwill; the free entry for the relief convoys loaded with the needs of food and medicine to the de-escalation zones in the countryside of Homs, together with providing the required guarantees, start evacuating patients and injuries and transporting them to Russian or Syrian hospitals for treatment as they wish.

(The Russian draft also referred to the introduction of materials for the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure, in accordance to the request of the opposition, and a list of the materials will be prepared by a detailed record, then the forces that monitor the de-escalation inspect all humanitarian relief convoys before entering the de-escalation zones in the countryside of Homs.

  1. Economic and commercial movement shall be facilitated without specifying the quantities and qualities to and from the countryside Rif Dimashq, including the necessary fuel, spare parts and equipment, and the return of all civilian and humanitarian activities and reconstruction to the area.
  2. Forming a local councils of the population of this area within 10 days from the date of signing the agreement, entrusted to the administration of citizens ‘ Affairs, and ensure the peaceful daily activities of civilians, and forming the National Council of Justice to peacefully settle differences between people.
  3. Where necessary, separate records may be prepared and signed, in order to scrutinize and amend some of the provisions of this agreement.
  4. The opposition notes the it accept the Federal Republic of Russia to be as a guarantor for applying this agreement, provided that it forms de-escalation monitor forces, to be placed along the fronts between both parties at agreed points, and Russia acknowledge to care for and ensure the de-escalation and deploying the separating force of observers who work in accordance with rules attached to this agreement, and shall monitor and document the violations in accordance with the annex to the violations-documenting mechanisms annexed to this agreement.
  5. Immediately after signing; a mechanism shall be prepared for releasing detainees of interest to both parties.
  6. This agreement is considered as an introduction to finding sound environment for carrying out a comprehensive political solution, in accordance with the international resolutions mentioned in the preamble above, and not a substitute for it.
  7. This agreement shall enter into force immediately upon signature, since the date on which the representatives of the opposition and the guarantor have signed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that these agreements and the truces come within the framework of the war against the jihadist organizations through the factions, whose mission comes to end the presence of jihadist factions, either by clashes or by dissolving these organizations, or by pushing them out of the areas that are controlled by the faction, and this agreement is the third agreement in the Syrian territory applied with a direct Russian presence, where the Russian-American-Jordanian agreement in the Syrian south remains in force, since it was started on the 9th of July 2017, also the agreement of the Eastern Ghouta is still in force but with major breaches since it was started on the 22nd of July 2017.

Reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the agreement of the Eastern Ghouta provides for a ceasefire between the factions and the regime forces, and entering aid and deploying Russian forces on the contact lines between both parties, while the Syrian south agreement stated that Russian military police will be deployed to to the cease-fire zones in the three provinces included in the agreement to monitor the ceasefire and the truce implementation. Meanwhile, the factions operating in Al-Suwaidaa desert, which intersects with the southeastern part of Rif Dimashq, announced that they have not been informed by any regional or international entity about the ceasefire in southern Syria. The SOHR also obtained information from reliable sources to the effect that the agreement provides for the withdrawal of the regime forces and their allied militiamen and the rebel and Islamic factions from contact lines in all areas, the deployment of the regime’s internal security forces in these lines whereas the rebel and Islamic factions participating in the agreement will be assigned the task of protecting all public and private establishments. In addition, it stipulates the departure of all those unwilling to participate in the agreement, the full withdrawal of the regime’s allied militiamen – of non-Syrian nationalities, preparation of the infrastructure necessary for the return of refugees from Jordan successively, holding municipal elections and granting municipalities broad powers, and finally the delivery of humanitarian aid to the areas that abide by the ceasefire.  The SOHR had also published on the 17th of June 2017 that a Russian-American-Jordanian truce was put into effect in Daraa Province and was extended till the 20th of June but came to an end as a result of the renewed aerial and artillery shelling by the regime forces and their allied militiamen, helicopters and warplanes.

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