On June 6, the Damascus government reopened the strategic Hama-Homs highway for civilian traffic for the first time in seven years, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). The reopening of the highway is a part of the reconciliation agreement in the northern Homs countryside, which was reached on May 2.
The Hama-Homs highway was first closed by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in late 2011. Back then, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) managed to reopen the highway twice, however it withdrew later as it was overwhelmed on other, more important fronts.
In a related development, the SAA continued its security operation in the northern Homs countryside and uncovered several weapon caches in the al-Hula region. The SANA said that these weapons caches contained Grad rockets, mortar shells, heavy machineguns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Under the reconciliation agreement, the FSA was supposed to hand over all of its weapons to the SAA. Syrian pro-government activists believe that the weapons, which were found in al-Hula, were hidden by racial militants, likely members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) which controlled the region for years.
Despite some obstacles, the reconciliation process in the northern Homs countryside has been successful so far, according to local observers, who believe that this success will be an example for other militant-held areas, especially in southern Syria.