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Syria: New ‘Reconciliation’ Displaces Wadi Barada Residents | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Red Crescent Ambulance enter the Ain al-Fijah spring region on Saturday after government forces took control/AFP

Beirut – The displacement conducted by the Syrian regime under the slogan of “reconciliations” touched the area of Wadi Barada Valley in the Damascus suburbs, while the first outcome of a deal signed on Saturday between officials in the area saw the raise of the Syrian regime flag above Ain al-Fijah water spring.

The agreement reached on Saturday stipulates that opposition forces would be allowed to safely leave Ain al-Fijah area and that a mechanism will be placed soon for those refusing the agreement to leave with their families to opposition-controlled areas in north Syria. Reports also said the agreement stipulates that “Hezbollah” militias withdraw from the area, where medical aid would be allowed in.

Last month, the Syrian army and its allies launched an attack to drive opposition forces out from the Wadi Barada valley, which they have controlled since 2012, and to recapture a major spring and pumping station. But, the intense battles have left the water spring out of service.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed on Saturday that forces had begun entering the Ain al-Fijah area with a task to fix the pumping stations. The observatory said water would be pumped during the next coming days to the capital, Damascus, which has been left without water since last Dec. 23.

The Wadi Barada Media Center said more than 80,000 civilians live in very bad human conditions for more than a month now, in the absence of any life necessities. Pharmacies ran out of medicine while baby milk is almost nonexistent.

While the Wadi Barada Media Center said an “agreement” was reached for opposition forces to withdraw from Ain al-Fijah building and its surrounding to allow the entrance of Syrian regime forces, the military media of “Hezbollah” reported that regime forces entered Ain al-Fijah town and “wrested control” of the spring stations where they raised the Syrian flag.

Opposition activist in Damascus suburb Diya’ al-Husseini told Ahsarq Al-Awsat that the agreement reached in Wadi Barada valley is similar to local ceasefire deals applied with the opposition in other areas of the Damascus suburbs, as part of a plan to forcibly displace residents.

“Around 20 regime forces members have entered Wadi Barada valley and have raised the flag in Ain al-Fijah with the entrance of Red Cross and Red Crescent members and the withdrawal of fighters from the area to Deir Makra town.

There are around 2,500 people expected to leave Wadi Barada, according to al-Husseini.