Syrian Strategic Motorway Opens for Civilian Traffic for First Time in Years

© REUTERS / Omar SanadikiBuses leave district of Waer during a truce between the government and rebels, in Homs, Syria December 9, 2015
Buses leave district of Waer during a truce between the government and rebels, in Homs, Syria December 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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A local source familiar with the situation said that a key motorway linking the Syrian cities of Homs and Hama has been opened to civilians for the first time in five years.

Syrians inspect the site of a suicide bomb attack in the capital Damascus' eastern Tahrir Square district, on July 2, 2017 - Sputnik International
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BEIRUT (Sputnik) — A key motorway linking the Syrian cities of Homs and Hama has been opened to civilians for the first time in five years, a local source familiar with the situation told Sputnik on Friday.

"The road began functioning after a Russian military police checkpoint opened there under the agreements," the source said.

Syrian authorities reached a deal with militants this Monday to create a de-escalation zone north of Homs. A ceasefire went into effect at noon on Thursday.

The source said the motorway serves 10,000 to 15,000 cars a day. They are required to pass through checkpoints manned by Russian military police and Syrian military personnel.

The road is of strategic and economic importance for the war-torn country. It stretches through the heartland, linking the central Hama province to the nation’s key cities, such as the capital of Damascus.

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