The negotiating committees of those representing the residents of the al-Wa’er district of Homs and the Syrian regime have reached an agreement to forcibly remove a section of the residents of the district in exchange for the lifting of the siege and handing it over to the Russian side presiding over the agreement.
The agreement stipulates that the first batch of residents should leave within seven days of the signing of the agreement, encompassing 1500 people, 400-500 of whom are fighters. The process of removal is to continue weekly with similar numbers leaving each week until the agreement is fulfilled. Residents will be taken to Jarablis, Idlib, and northern rural Homs.
The Syrian and Russian sides are to take full responsibility for the safety of those leaving.
A committee will be formed to oversee the process, including members of the “al’Waer District Committee”, the “Security Committee of Homs”, and the Russian side.
Once all fighters have been removed, a Russian batallion of 60-100 soldiers will spread throughout the district. Their job will be to oversee the execution of the agreement in full detail and ensuring that all sides adhere to it. They are to+ oversee and ensure: the return of families and the displaced to the district, the return of the displaced inside the district to their homes in other districts of Homs, security and respect of the law inside the district, protection of the families and their general and private possessions, and the securing of public facilities. They will also ensure that the residents of the district will not be arrested and detained and will oversee the the checkpoints of the district, as well as ensuring no fighters or arms are in the district, and prohibiting shia militias and other militias from entering.
Those responsible for implementing the agreement on the regime’s side include: General Deeb Zaitoun, President of the Intelligence Division of Homs, Governer of Homs, and head of security in Homs. On the Russian side, General Igor Torthinok- the highest ranking Russian officer in Syria and head of the Humaimam air base- is responsible for overseeing the agreement, as well as his deputy, Colonel Rafael, and Colonel Sergei (who is directly responsible for the al-Wa’er issue on the side of the Russians). This is whilst the families committee of the al-Wa’er district are responsible on the side of the residents of the district.
The district of al-Wa’er is the last area under the control of the opposition in the city of Homs. The district has been subjected to a crippling siege for many years, and has been bombed by regime war planes and artillery in a continuous manner.