MESOP Syria Feature: Homs Truce Threatened as Regime Refuses Detainee Release

by Scott Lucas – 11 March 2016 – eaworldview – A three-month truce in the last opposition-held area of Homs is under threat, as Syria’s Assad regime is refusing to free detainees.After years of siege and bombardment, the Assad regime agreed a truce with rebels with al-Wa’er in December. However, a member of the rebel negotiating committee said on Thursday that the deal has begun “to fall apart” and that “it is no longer in anyone’s interest to hold on” to it.On Tuesday, regime representatives told opposition negotiators that only 137 detainees would be released as part of the truce.

The opposition had given a list of 7,360 names to regime officials.“[This] is proof that the regime carried out field executions against a lot of prisoners; others were killed under torture, and others still are in the pro-regime militias’ prisons, where the regime cannot reach,” Abu al-Baraa al-Homsi, a citizen journalist from al-Wa’er, told Syria Direct on Thursday.Opposition negotiator Walid al-Faris said that a regime counterpart told him that “the detainees won’t be freed—they are terrorists, murderers and traitors to the country”. Assad officials informed rebels on Wednesday that they will close roads into al-Wa’er from Saturday. The step would reverse the lifting of the blockade, part of the first of the three stages of the December truce.A rally on Thursday calling for the release of detainees from regime prisons: