Syrian Army, Rebels Agree on Six-Month Truce for Three Towns
13:21 26.09.2015(updated 13:26 26.09.2015)
It was confirmed on Friday that rebel fighters and government forces in Syria have agreed on a 6-month truce for the town of Zabadani and two Shiite villages, Fuaa and Kafraya.
The northwest villages Fuaa and Kafraya had been besieged by the rebels, among them Al-Qaeda's major branch Sunni Muslim, after Syrian pro-government militia embarked on an offensive in July in an effort to recapture rebel-held Zabadani.
United Nations spokeswoman Jessy Chahine on Thursday relayed the positive developments in ceasefire talks between the two parties, stressing that despite UN assistance in facilitating the dialogue, the announcement of the deal was a decision of each party and by no means forced.
The agreement as the endorsement of the UN and was brokered by Turkey and Iran, according to the chief of Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.
Following the terms of the deal, around 500 armed and wounded rebels will be withdrawn from Zabadani along with their families to northern Idlib province in exchange for the evacuation of 10,000 women and children from Fuaa and Kafraya to regime-controlled zones.
"The agreement has gone into effect. We are now waiting for the evacuation of the wounded from Al Zabadani and the villages of Fouaa and Kafraya," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Civilians living in Zabadani and nearby areas will also be able to go to Idlib safely if they choose not to stay. The agreement also includes the release of rebel prisoners held by the Syrian militia.
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