Gunmen Start Leaving Homs' al-Waer Neighborhood

 HOMS, (ST)- The first batch of gunmen and their families started today leaving al-Waer neighborhood in the western part of Homs city in implementation of a reconciliation agreement reached last week in the district and in preparation to restore the state institutions to the area.

In a statement to SANA, Homs Governor Talal Barazi said "more than 1500 people including gunmen and members of their families are to leave al-Waer to the northeastern countryside of Aleppo," pointing out that "the evacuation process is supervised by the Syrian Red Crescent as well as the Syrian and Russian military police."

 He added that the governorate has completed all procedures and logistic arrangements to help evacuate the first batch of gunmen in implementation of the reconciliation deal reached last week.

On Monday, al-Waer district witnessed a reconciliation agreement providing for settling the legal status of gunmen who want to stay there and for the departure of the rest of gunmen who refuse the reconciliation agreement.  

Al-Waer district is the last area in Homs where armed groups have positions and besiege a large number of citizens.

In March 2014, a settlement agreement also led to the evacuation of armed groups from  the old city of Homs.

The Governor denied reports circulated by some media outlets which are involved in the bloodshed in Syria that a demographic change is planned for al-Waer neighborhood, according to SANA.

“These lies are a desperate attempt aimed at sabotaging the reconciliation agreement of al-Waer neighborhood in particular and the process of successive reconciliations in general,” said al-Barazi.

He clarified that over 40,000 people will stay in the neighborhood after all the gunmen who reject the reconciliation leave along with their families, who are 10,000 people in total.

He added that the governorate is working on drawing up a comprehensive plan to secure the return of all the families that had earlier left their houses in al-Waer neighborhood after the evacuation process is completed and services are fully restored.

Secretary of Homs Branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party Ammar al-Sibaai noted that over 100,000 people are expected to return to their homes after the reconciliation agreement is fully implemented.

Hamda Mustafa