In a bargaining tactic, a new deal has been agreed between rebels of the towns of Qaryatain and Mahin, 100 km southeast of Homs, and regime forces.
The regime yielded to the fighters’ demands to release all detainees in exchange for allowing the regime to repair the Arab Gas Pipeline which passes across the two villages, and head towards Homs and then to the north of Syria.
The pipeline has great importance for many countries since it extends from Arish in Egypt, passing through Aqaba, Damascus and Banias, with an underwater branch pipeline to Israel. It has a total length of 1,200 kilometers.
According to sources in Badia, the regime has already released 31 detainees from the two villages in recent days and the gas pipeline has been fixed. The pipeline was targeted on more than one occasion: it was bombed before by the Liwa al-Qaryatain rebels because they believe it feeds the defense factories in Sfera, south of Aleppo.
Details of the deal obtained by Zaman al-Wasl include the release of 31 detainees in the first week of the agreement, and then most of the remaining during a maximum period of one month and a half from the date of the deal, provided that all the remaining prisoners are released before 2 January, 2015, in addition to removing the checkpoint at the city's corniche, and ceasing to arrest wanted people in the two villages.
In exchange, the rebels commited to not obstructing the pipeline of gas coming from Egypt, which feeds the generating power stations in Syria.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer