This article was submitted by guest contributor Jason Ditz.
A new Syrian Foreign Ministry statement has confirmed a deal on the besieged Old City of Homs, allowing civilians to leave the city as well as allowing humanitarian aid to those who remained.
Previously, the rebels occupying the old city neighborhood had spurned such offers, saying they wanted unconditional access for rebel fighters to leave the city as well, and to take all their weapons with them. Peace talks in Geneva are scheduled to continue next week.
UN officials welcomed the deal, saying that they are ready to deliver aid to those remaining in Homs whenever they are given the go-ahead, which Syrian officials indicated could be early next week.
US officials were harshly critical of the deal, warning civilians against fleeing Homs because they are “very concerned about anybody who falls into regime hands.”
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