Thousands of pro-government civilians will be evacuated from the besieged towns of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in Syria’s eastern Idlib under a new agreement between the Damascus government and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on April 29.
The SANA said that HTS will also release 85 women and children who had been abducted by its fighters from the village of Eshtabraq in western Idlib three years ago during the battle for the town of Jisr al-Shughur.
From its side, the Damascus government will allow all the besieged militants south of Damascus, including the militants in the ISIS-held Yarmouk camp, to withdraw towards Idlib governorate, according to the SANA.
However, several Syrian pro-government activists doubted that ISIS is a part of the agreement, as HTS has never publicly allowed ISIS fighters to enter its areas in Idlib governorate. Due to this, observers suggested that SANA may have referred to hundreds of HTS fighters who control a few blocks in the northern part of the Yarmouk camp.
Earlier, Syrian pro-government and opposition sources reported that the Damascus government and the militants in the district of Aqraba, Beit Sahm, Yalda and Babbila south of Damascus reached an evacuation deal. The evacuation of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya may be a part of the same deal.
According to SANA, the evacuation process of pro-government fighters from al-Fu’ah and Kafriya and the militants from southern Damascus will begin on April 30 and last for weeks.