Western Daraa Leaders Submit To Damascus Demands, Accept New Reconciliation Agreement

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Western Daraa Leaders Submit To Damascus Demands, Accept New Reconciliation Agreement

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: Sputnik/Mikhail Alaeddin

Leaders of former rebels in the western Daraa countryside accepted a new reconciliation agreement that was offered by Damascus, the al-Watan newspaper reported.

According to the Syrian daily, the leaders submitted to Damascus’s demands and singed the agreement on February 8. A day later the agreement was put into action.

One of the main demands of Damascus was fulfilled as six infamous militants, who were behind a number of attacks on government forces, were expelled to the northwestern region of Greater Idlib.

“People need safety and security in order to carry on with their daily lives and work, students want to go to schools and thus life will return to normal,” Secretary of the Daraa branch of the Baath Party, Hussein Al-Rifai, told al-Watan. “There are no obstacles to the settlement.”

A Syrian security source told the newspaper, that former rebels in western Daraa will hand over their remaining heavy weapons under the agreement. The former rebels will also withdraw from government buildings in the town of Tafas, their main stronghold.

In order to facilitate the new reconciliation agreement, Damascus released from prions more than 60 former rebels from western Daraa.

Now, units from the Syrian Arab Army and security forces will be deployed around the towns of al-Yadudah, Muzayrib and Tafas. A combing operation will be carried out there.

Last month, Damascus deployed a large strike force in Daraa and threatened local leaders in the western countryside with ground and aerial operations if they do not fulfill its demands. The demands are meant to stabilize the region.

The new reconciliation agreement will likely allow to improve the security situation in western Daraa, especially in Tafas. However, the agreement ignores the threat of terrorist cells, which are still active in the region.

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