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Huge Explosion Hampers Foua, Kefraya Evacuation as Opposition Decries ‘Demographic Change’

Opposition site Alsouria Net reports on attack which targeted convoy of around 5,000 people who had been granted safe passage out of the besieged Shiite villages
Huge Explosion Hampers Foua, Kefraya Evacuation as Opposition Decries ‘Demographic Change’

A large explosion happened on Saturday near a gathering point for buses full of displaced civilians and militants from the largely Shiite towns of Kefraya and Foua, Idleb province, in the Rashidin area west of Aleppo, killing and wounding hundreds, including opposition fighters.

Ghaith al-Sayed, a media activist from the Idleb countryside, told Alsouria Net that “the explosion killed and wounded a large number of people, including women and children, in addition to opposition fighters who were among those overseeing protection of the buses of displaced from Kefraya and Foua.”

An agreement was signed to evacuate the towns of Kefraya and Foua in exchange for permitting opposition fighters and their families to leave two besieged towns near Damascus.

The current agreement was met with widespread criticism from the Syrian opposition, which considered this another step in entrenching “demographic change” in Syria through clearing entire regions of residents. Iran has always been eager to evacuate residents from Kefraya and Foua, which are inhabited by Shiites who support Tehran in Syria.

At the same time, Tehran participated alongside the Assad regime and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah in clearing Sunni areas in the Damascus region by sending residents north and replacing them with a Shiite belt. The opposition says recent events reflect the sectarian intention of Tehran and the regime.

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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