Aid reaches Syrian rebel-held area of Homs

A man rides a bicycle through a devastated part of Homs, Syria.

A man rides a bicycle through a devastated part of Homs, Syria.

Humanitarian aid has reached a besieged rebel-held area in the central Syrian city of Homs, part of a local ceasefire deal that is to include the withdrawal of opposition fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In a delivery presided over by the United Nations, food and medical supplies entered the Waer district of the city on Thursday, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

It was a sign that the deal, which would be the second local ceasefire agreement to be reached in Syria in recent months, was beginning to be implemented.

Syrian government officials said on Tuesday they had agreed that opposition fighters could withdraw from the last insurgent-held area of Homs with their weapons as part of the agreement.

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

Another ceasefire agreement, backed by Iran and Turkey and with U.N. help, was reached in September between pro-government forces and insurgents around a town near the Lebanese border and two villages in northwest Syria. That ceasefire appears to be holding despite sporadic exchanges of fire.

But the more than four-year-old war shows little sign of slowing across the rest of the country as heavy fighting continues and all the world’s major powers except China are all now militarily involved.


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