BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:35 A.M.) – On Monday afternoon, rebel fighters from various settlements within a large section of militant-controlled countryside across northern Homs province (and small parts of southern Hama province), commonly referred to as the Rastan pocket, made clear their intention to want to reconcile with the Syrian government.
Specifically, feelers were put out by rebel authorities running the small city of Rastan and the towns of Talbisah and Al-Ghanto. In response, the Syrian and Russian authorities set several conditions for reconciliation.
Four key terms set by the Syrian government and Russian reconciliation representatives for rebels to meet before the reconciliation goes into effect have been identified as follows:
- Rebel fighters officially settle their status with the Syrian government.
- Rebel groups hand over all medium and heavy weapons (as well as relevant ammunition) in their possession to the Syrian Army.
- Reconciled cities. towns and villages within the Rastan pocket raise the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Rebel fighters withdraw from all positions along the Homs to Hama highway (which runs right through the middle of the Rastan pocket and city of Rastan itself) and surrender them to Syrian and Russian military police.
At the present time, Al-Masdar News cannot confirm if the early reports that rebel forces in Rastan, Talbisah and Al-Ghanto agreed to the reconciliation terms are true or not.
Updates to come.