Syria’s government forces recaptured today several strategic hilltops overlooking the Wadi Barada region where Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have been blocking water supply from Damascus for almost 15 days.
The recent gain came after massive reinforcements from the Army’s elite forces arrived recently at this western region; thus forcing the fighters to consider negotiating an agreement with the Syrian authorities.
Today, a Russian delegation made it inside the rebel-held area for 2-hour long talks – during which a provisional ceasefire was held by both warring parties.
A longer and steadier ceasefire will enter into effect at 9 a.m. tomorrow whereby maintenance workshops will be granted access to fix the damaged water spring at Ain Al-Figeh to end a 15-day water crisis in the capital.
According to the agreement, militants shall hand on heavy and medium arms to be eventually enrolled in local committees, which along government troops, will bear the responsibility to preserving security in the towns of Wadi Barada.
Fighters who are originally not from the towns and villages of Wadi Barada, as well as those unwilling to have their legal status settled, will be evacuated to the northwestern province of Idlib.