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article imageSyrian regime gains ground as rebels set to pull out of Homs

By Paul Iddon     May 5, 2014 in Politics
Syrian opposition forces fighting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad are set to leave Homs in the next 48 hours according to the governor there. Syria's tourism minister says he sees a "prosperous" tourist season ahead there.
As Al Jazeera reported many hundreds of fighters who are besieged in Syria's third-largest city will evacuate following a ceasefire agreement. The withdrawal is to be supervised by a United Nations delegation.
AFP quotes the governor of Homs, Talal al-Barazi, stating, "We will begin the application of the initiative in the coming 48 hours depending on the situation on the ground."
He then went on to say that, "I hope that things will go smoothy, in which case the initiative will be completed quickly."
Those being evacuated have been trapped in neighborhoods across Homs and have been bombarded by Syrian military forces deployed by the government for about two years now.
The deal that will see to them being evacuated was said to be struck after the rebels had agreed to free 70 prisoners of Iranian and Lebanese origin from the Islamic Front alliance (a loose alliance of Islamist forces who have broken from the mainstream and more moderate FSA but aren't directly affiliated with the al Qaeda branch of the Islamists fighting in Syria).
However the Homs governor has denied that there are Iranian hostages.
Amid the ruins brought on by two years of clashes between the regime and the rebels and heavy artillery and air strikes against suburbs and city districts the Syrian tourism minister has come out and predicted that a "prosperous" tourist season is imminent in the Syrian city.
AFP quoted Bisher Yazigi saying this prosperous tourism season will come about due to the planning of activities for the summer. He hasn't elaborated on what he means by that but these remarks were made as this deal was reached and the evacuation of opposition forces is imminent.
Sadly clashes between the warring factions in this horrible war has left many of the city's historical sites — particularly the Old City of Homs — in a state of ruin.
More about Syria, Homs, syrian conflict, Tourism
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