Homs: exodus of the rebels

Homs: withdrawal of the rebels

Shot from the war for Homs, from 2012. Image: US State Department; public domain

Syria: President Bashar al-Aassad prepares for his re-election; the "syrian opposition council" asks Washington for heavier weapons

With the withdrawal of the rebels from the old city of Homs, Syrian President Bashar al-Aassad has achieved another important military success. Thus, according to experts, the plan of the armed opponents of the government to bring down Damascus no longer has a chance.

Homs has not only a rough meaning for the "Rebels", because the city was already very early a center of armed resistance against the government, but mainly strategically. Homs is on the supply route between Damascus and Latakia, and the Lebanese port of. Homs is also an important hub for energy supply, pipelines and electricity.

The conquest of Kusair (resp. Qusair) by government forces last year (Syria: Government consolidates its military supremacy…) was a decisive step in consolidating the military supremacy of the government forces; even then, it was clear that the rebels were not going to be able to use the tasers "with their backs to the wall". Homs also represents the enormous brutality of the Syrian war, in which neither side spared the other, and especially not the population, which is paying a bitter price.

President Assad, who is partly responsible for the army bombardment of the city, used the military conquest of the center for a gesture that is certainly not disadvantageous for his election campaign, attracting international attention and applause in Russia. Representatives of his government brokered a deal with the remaining militias in Homs. They were allowed to leave, even with their firearms.

With the Iranian ambassador to Syria present, an agreement was reached between fighting factions that was waited for in vain in the Geneva negotiations. Now, all those who are fed up with the war, including, according to Western media reports in recent weeks, an increasing number of former insurgents against Bashar al-Aassad, hope that the Homs deal could develop into a model that could be applied to other parts of the country.

Corresponding negotiations in the area around Aleppo are said to be already underway. If a report in the New York Times is anything to go by, there are strong factions among the government’s opponents, as one would expect, that are flatly opposed to such negotiations. Today’s explosive attack on a hotel in Aleppo, for which militiamen took responsibility, is in line with this attitude.

Meanwhile, asks "Opposition leader" Ahmad al-Jarb in Washington, where his organization, the Syrian Opposition Council, was granted quasi-diplomatic status with its own official representations. The country urgently needs food.

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