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Iran Press TV

Over 10,000 people lay down arms in Syria's armistice program: Minister

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:56PM

A Syrian government program for armistice has proven to be successful as thousands of people have reportedly given up their weapons over a two-year period, officials say.

Syrian Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said on Tuesday that over 10,000 people, including many former militants in the third-largest city of Homs, have laid down their arms in response to a government plea for giving up hostilities and returning to a civilian life.

"In total, including Homs and its western suburb, we are talking about 10,000 people who have laid down arms over the past two years," said Haidar, adding that the number continues to rise citing reports suggesting that hundreds in a village in southwest Syria have also accepted to put down their weapons.

In the process devised by the Syrian government, citizens that have been involved in the four-and-a-half year militancy in the Arab country could become part of a rehabilitation program by laying down their arms so that the government guarantees them a return to normal life.

Haidar said Homs in western Syria has been the most striking example of a successful local ceasefire, where 1,500 former militants gave up their weapons in 2013.

Syrian forces have made significant gains against the Takfiri terrorists across the country in recent weeks. Airstrikes by the Russian military have also contributed to the achievements by the Syrian army. Militants across Syria have been forced to either retreat from their positions or give up fighting against the government forces.

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