00:08 GMT +323 October 2019
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    This photo released Tuesday, July 11, 2017 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians arriving from Jarablus, in Aleppo province, to their old neighborhood of al-Waer, in Homs, Syria

    Number of People Visiting Families in Syrian Homs Safe Zone Increases

    © AP Photo / SANA
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    Russia’s military police at the checkpoint in the Syrian city of Al-Rastan, located in the de-escalation zone recently established in Syria's province of Homs, registered a growth in the number of civilians visiting relatives in the territory, Russian military police officer Vitaly Afanasyev said Thursday.

    HOMS (Syria) (Sputnik) The agreement on the operation of the Homs de-escalation zone was reached by representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and moderate Syrian opposition on July 31. There are 84 settlements with a population of more than 147,000 people living within the zone.

    “We came here on August 3 and started to carry out our duties at the checkpoint. Everything here is going on peacefully and calmly. [Local] people treat us well. Every day we check approximately 100-150 people, around 20-30 cars are entering and leaving the territory … Since we have been stationed here, the number of people and amount of cars [which visit the territory] has increased,” the Russian officer told reporters.

    The Syrian civilians visit their relatives and bring food, medicine, according to the official.

    The agreement on establishing de-escalation zones was reached during the talks on Syrian reconciliation in Astana in May. The ceasefire regime in Syrian de-escalation zones does not cover the militants of the Jabhat Fatah al Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front, and the Islamic State (IS; both terrorist organizations are banned in Russia).

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    Tags:
    de-escalation, Syrian opposition, Homs, Syria
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