Evacuation Process Began In Al-Fu’ah And Kafriya

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Evacuation Process Began In Al-Fu'ah And Kafriya

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On July 18, ten ambulances carrying injured and sick civilians departed the besieged towns of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya, in the eastern Idlib countryside, towards the city of Aleppo, according to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV. Earlier today, more than 120 buses and ambulances entered the two towns.

Syrian pro-government activists said that more than 6,500 fighters of the National Defense Forces (NDF) and civilians will be evacuated from the two towns in the upcoming hours under an agreement, which was reached two days ago. As a part of the same agreement, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) will also release dozens of women and children who were captured by its fighters during Idlib offensive in 2015.

Abdullah al-Hassan, an official of HTS, told the HTS-linked news network Iba’a that the Damascus government will release more than 1,500 civilians from its jails in exchange for the evacuation of the besieged civilians in al-Fu’ah and Kafriya. Al-Hassan added that 41 fighters of HTS who were captured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah in previous battles will be also released.

While the agreement will put an end to the suffering of the civilians in al-Fu’ah and Kafriya, many local observers fear that HTS may change the demography of the two towns. Several HTS-linked activists had said that the radical group will allow its foreign fighters to live the houses of the displaced civilians.

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  • Kell McBanned

    Hrrrm hope this turns out ok, seems they are de risking prior to idlib operations, hopefully those that remain wont be put to the sword.

  • Markos Pnderos

    The question is: Have they been evacuated to change ethnic demograhfics on syrian soil or to bring them home before the Idlib offense start (if there will be an Idlib offense ?)?

    • S Melanson

      I think it is in anticipation of the upcoming offensive. There could be a number of reasons they are doing this but I suspect they wanted to get civilians out of an area that could become a major war zone – note that the presence of 6,500 pro-government NDF could be used to justify the towns being military targets despite the presence of civilians.

      This operation then serves to remove a civilian group that could be shelled, blockaded, threatened, subject to abductions and even targeted by chemical weapons as a false flag.

      There is also the exchange of prisoners component that is common in such agreements. I did not see mention of the conditions for evacuation regarding the NDF such as heavy and medium equipment – are they permitted to take with them?

      • FlorianGeyer

        I agree.

        Whether Idlib is retaken or not, the presence of so many literal hostages would be either a liability for the SAA or a slow death for the long suffering inhabitants of those besieged towns.

        IF the homes are occupied by foreign mercenaries it would be an ideal testing ground for the ‘Father of all Bombs’ by the Russian military :)

        • S Melanson

          Yes. Testing MOAB sounds like a good idea. They can call it Operation Urban Renewal.

          • jorge

            Florian and Melanson, almasdar is saying that fighters of NDF and of syrian Hezbollah rest inside the towns.

            https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/over-7000-people-evacuated-from-besieged-shiite-towns-in-idlib/

          • S Melanson

            Yes, good catch. But the agreement includes evacuation of the NDF as well. I think Almasdar News is in error. This is why multiple sources may need to be referenced to confirm a story including important details. It would be very significant (and surprising) if the NDF remained behind.

          • FlorianGeyer

            Brilliant :)

        • Bob

          Also agree – in event of a major northern SAA offensive and probable militant collapse, as happening in south, the besieged civilians might present a easy target for violent retribution, massacre, or human shielding by the al Nusra/HTS orcs.

  • Rafik Chauhan

    full scale war for idlib is cominf soon all the this fireughn terriost rat including turkey soldier have to run back to this father land . turkey will pay soon towards its border with all this forign terriost in the land. bad luck erdogon its your turn to pay now.