Hundreds of rebels and their families on Wednesday left the last opposition-held neighborhood of Homs as part of a local truce that will bolster government control of the city, while opposition groups met in Saudi Arabia to forge a united front ahead of proposed peace talks. The international community is making its most serious push yet for a ceasefire and negotiations to end Syria’s nearly five-year-old conflict. U.N. and U.S. officials hope the deal that led to the rebels’ evacuation of the Waer neighborhood in Homs can be replicated elsewhere to create pockets of peace and a climate conducive to negotiations.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.