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Homs: Regime Forces Closure of Main Crossing to Waer

Blockade follows calls from opposition for the release of thousands of detainees from the rebel-held district
Homs: Regime Forces Closure of Main Crossing to Waer

Regime forces on Tuesday closed the main crossing to Waer, the last rebel-held area of Homs, in a move seeking to tighten the noose on the besieged district despite a UN-mediated truce reached last December, residents said.

The blockade came as regime forces try to pressure the local negotiation committee’s demands for the release of 7,350 detainees who were arrested since March 2011, a source said.

The truce deal states that the Assad regime must disclose the fate of the detainees. Families and relatives who took to the streets in February said the fate of their sons are still unknown.

Around 10,300 fighters and their families left Waer in December as part of a rare local ceasefire deal negotiated between the opposition and the regime.

The fighters and their families have been moved to rebel-held areas in the northwest of the country near the Turkish border.

Regime forces plan to disarm rebels who want to stay in Waer or push them to leave the neighborhood before the third stage of the deal takes effect.

A few weeks ago, residents of Waer celebrated their first wholesale vegetable market after three years of shelling and siege as the Assad regime permitted 12 tons of produce to enter the district.

Waer's Souq al-Hal, where street vendors and farmers sell vegetables and fruit wholesale, has since been revived, residents said, voicing hope for normal life to return to the district.

This article was 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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