Thursday,25 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1402, (19 - 25 July 2018)
Thursday,25 April, 2019
Issue 1402, (19 - 25 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Syrian ceasefires

Two agreements on Syria were brokered by and signed in Cairo last week


A number of Syrian militant opposition factions from the Syrian coastal area signed a ceasefire agreement Monday evening in Cairo, Ahmed Eleiba reports. The agreement, brokered by Egyptian General Intelligence and guaranteed by Russia and the head of the Syrian Al-Ghad (Tomorrow) Movement, Sheikh Ahmed Jarba, calls on all signatories to participate in counter-terrorist efforts, work towards a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, release detainees, and enable the safe return of refugees and displaced persons to their home towns and villages.

In addition, militant factions in North Homs, led by Jeish Al-Tawhid (Unification Army), signed another Egyptian-Russian sponsored agreement in Cairo, mediated by Jarba. It calls on signatories to join the fight against terrorism in Syria and create a force to maintain peace and security in the area. The leaders of the Syrian factions expressed their gratitude to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi for the efforts Egypt is devoting to resolve the Syrian crisis and alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

In a press conference attended by Al-Ahram Weekly, Al-Ghad Spokesman Monzer Akbik stressed that the agreement for rural Homs addresses the concerns of civilians fearful to return home if regime security forces move into the area in the absence of youth who were recruited into counter-terrorist army units, leaving women, children and the elderly to fend for themselves.

The Cairo agreement, he said, provides for the creation of a force responsible for policing and maintaining security in Homs. The bulk of this force will be drawn from the Geish Al-Tawhid (Unification Army), which had signed an Egyptian-sponsored agreement, guaranteed by Russia and mediated by Jarba, last year. Therefore, the youth will officially be performing their military service in the framework of carrying out this provision.

Akbik added that the Russians are taking serious steps to meet their promise to intervene with the regime to secure the release of detainees from North Homs and to ensure the safe return of displaced persons. In light of the foregoing talks, Al-Ghad Movement sees the agreement as very positive, as it addresses the concerns of the people of the region and enables their safe and dignified return to their towns and villages.

With respect to the ceasefire agreement in the coastal region, the spokesman explained that the factions there, most notably the First Coastal Division, agreed to a ceasefire with the regime and to join the counter-terrorism drive against Al-Qaeda or Islamic State. This agreement, too, is positive, he said, as it averts many casualties, both in the ranks of the regime and the factions, while simultaneously contributing to the fight against terrorism and terrorists.

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