Palmyra-... with Tiyas-Airbase (T4): War-Situation-Map in Homs' countryside the day before ISIS unexpectedly assailed: FRI, 9th Dec 2016
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Against the background of the Syrian army success, armed opposition field commanders find it difficult to cope with the panic in their ranks. The number of the militants who are continuing to lay down weaponry and surrender to the government forces is daily increasing. Perhaps, their motive is to save life not only of themselves, but also of their relatives.
In addition, on March 18, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said that all the participants of the armed conspiracy against the Arab Republic were defeated and should voluntarily lay down their weapons.
The same happened in Homs. After a month of tense negotiations, on March 14, the representatives of the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya, who were controlling Al-Waer district of Homs during the last three years, signed a peace agreement with the official Damascus. According to it, the armed opposition has to withdraw its troops to the province of Idlib.
The governor of Homs Talal Barazi said that the main point of the agreement was the withdrawal of 10,000 people from Homs. About 4,500-5,000 of them are militants, and the rest are their relatives and the civilian population.
Now, in cooperation with Russia, the first group of militants and their relatives who left al-Waer, totaled 300 militants and 1,065 civilians. According to the governor, they would be given an opportunity to be amnestied, lay down their weapons, and return to peaceful life.
It should be mentioned that many experts believe that the withdrawal of the militants is a very important tactical step for the Syrian Army. According to them, it is a good opportunity to expand the controlled territory around the liberated Palmyra and level the front line.
In addition, while liberating the area around Palmyra, government troops are preparing to continue the operation to regain control over the oil fields in Homs, which are partially in the hands of ISIS. Let us remind that more than a half of all oil fields of the province is concentrated in the Palmyra area, so it is very important to deprive ISIS of them to use the oil revenues to restore on peace in the province.
Obviously, the military initiative was taken by the Syrian army. Militants are aware of this and intend to integrate into the negotiation process and be included in the amnesty that was extended by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad until June 30, 2017.
[Previously published in The International Reporter]