Local peace deal agreed in Syria's Homs: governor

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2015 9:29 AM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The governor of Syria's Homs said on Tuesday that local authorities had agreed on a deal which would see opposition armed groups leave an insurgent-held area of Homs city, a statement from his office said.

Sources told Reuters earlier on Tuesday that Syrian and United Nations officials had been meeting in Homs, a major battleground on Syria's north-south highway, to try to finalize a peace deal following a ceasefire in the Waer district of Homs.

Waer is the last insurgent-held area of the city.

The agreement also includes efforts to settle "the status of militants who wish to hand in their weapons and to return to their normal lives," the statement from governor Talal al-Barazi's office said.

Syrian state television said gunmen from the armed groups would start leaving Waer from next week.

There have been a number of small, local ceasefire deals and attempts to secure them in parts of western Syria this year in the absence of a national solution to the nearly five-year conflict which has killed some 250,000 people.

The Syrian army and allied militia launched a major ground offensive north of Homs city after Russia, main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, started carrying out air strikes in support of him two months ago.

(Writing by Sylvia Westall in Beirut, Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva; Editing by Richard Balmforth)