The truce in the Syrian city of Homs, where firing was discontinued from Friday to Sunday in view of the conduct of a humanitarian aid operation, may be extended for another three days, the SANA news agency reports on Monday.
"This matter is being discussed by the sides so that all civilians, primarily, children, women and the elderly would have an opportunity to leave the dangerous areas," SANA quotes Governor Talal al-Barrazi as saying. The Governor said, "The Syrian government is ready to provide the necessary corridor for the evacuation of refugees from any block and bring them to their desired destination."
On Sunday, 611 people left Old Homs controlled by the armed opposition. Many evacuees were in need of medical aid, considering that those people were utterly exhausted by hunger and blockade. No data have been given on the number of those hospitalized. The city authorities prepared provisional accommodation premises for the evacuees.
One hundred and ninety sets of food and medicines were delivered inside the city blocks. Just as last Saturday, the staff of the Syrian Red Crescent and UN agencies had to live through several dangerous moments when unidentified militants opened fire at the assembly point of evacuees in Qarabis Block. Luckily, noone was wounded this time.
Al-Barrazi said a 130-member group of men aged from 16 to 54 -- who expressed readiness voluntarily to surrender to the authorities -- left Old Homs on Sunday together with refugees. The Governor explained that the group's decisions would enable them -- after undergoing checks in the Interior Ministry -- to avoid prosecution if they are not on the wanted list as criminals.
Meanwhile, the rendering of urgent food aid to the residents of the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk is going on in Damascus. The humanitarian aid convoy also went to the outskirts of Barze and Myadamia where the truce agreement had been concluded with the former insurgents of the so-called Syrian Free Army. Negotiations are under way for a cessation of fighting in Harasta.
The Al-Watan news service reports that militants in Jobar and Mlikha still refuse to surrender. Exchanges of heavy fire took place over there on Sunday.
Mass meetings in suppor of the government and the Syrian armed forces which are counteracting the terror took place in Damascus and its suburbs, as well a s in Aleppo, Latakia, and Tartus. Participants in those meetings declared in favour of a political settlement of the crisis and a nationwide dialogue, rejecting an outside interference. They welcomed the firm stand, taken by Damascus at the Geneva-2 conference, in defence of the Syiran people's interests.