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Barada Rebels Deny Reaching Agreement With Regime to Repair Water, Deliver Arms

Opposition in Barada valley area reject state media's claims of rebel agreement with Assad regime to hand over their weapons, adding that repair teams have not entered to fix the damaged water source
Barada Rebels Deny Reaching Agreement With Regime to Repair Water, Deliver Arms

The Syrian opposition denied reports by regime media SANA on Wednesday quoting the governor of the Damascus countryside, Alaa Ibrahim, as saying that the government had agreed with fighters in the Barada valley to bring in teams to repair damage to the Fijeh Spring water supply and hand over their heavy weapons.

SANA quoted the governor as saying: "The preliminary agreement which was reached includes handing over the heavy weapons of militants and foreign fighters leaving the Barada valley area and bring in units of the Syrian Arab Army to the area to clean it of lines and explosives in preparation for repair and maintenance teams to enter the Fijeh Spring to repair damage which had been suffered by the water pumps and pipes as a result of the aggression of the terrorists."

These allegations published by the agency were confirmed to be false by sources inside the Barada valley. Media activist Ali Diab told Alsouria Net that the talk about reaching an agreement was not true and also denied there were any current negotiations in this respect. "The regime is just making threats," he said.

Diab said that "The regime gave the people of the Barada valley several hours to surrender before it escalates and burns the valley (literally), noting that this is what has happened since yesterday (Tuesday) when bombardment with barrel bombs and warplanes and artillery and rockets has not stopped, day or night."

The same source said that the regime is extorting civilians by opening the Ras al-Amoud checkpoint near Deir Qanoun to let out civilians in exchange for each civilian signing a paper of "reconciliation and settlement," to say that the deal is underway.

This comes as regime forces and the terrorist Hezbollah militia continue their military assault on the Barada valley area, as the two sides intensified on Wednesday and focused on the areas of Basima and Deir Muqran.

Opposition forces in the Barada valley have continued to repulse the regime and Hezbollah militia attacks which have not been able to achieve a military advance in the area throughout the military campaign on December 23, 2016.

The Barada valley area is composed of 13 villages, of which the opposition has control of nine, while the regime and allied militias control four. About 130,000 people live in the area, most of them taking refuge there from other areas of Syria.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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