Syrian families start returning to homes near Damascus

Damascus: Dozens of Syrian families started returning to homes in a rebel-held district south of the capital Damascus on Wednesday, following a successful truce between the government and the rebels, the media reported.

Dozens of families started returning to their homes in the western and eastern districts of al-Qadam neighbourhood in the framework of the “national reconciliations”, Xinhua reported.

The pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV said 5,000 people were expected to return to al-Qadam, where the rebels and the government forces agreed on a truce, called by the government “reconciliation”. It will allow the rebels to be enlisted in pro-government militia and they will be responsible for the security in that neighbourhood.

Several truces and evacuation of rebels have taken place recently in Syria, particularly around Damascus, in the latest effort by the government to clear insurgent groups from the vicinity of the capital.

The government concludes such truces by laying tight siege on rebel-held areas to force the rebels to abandon their positions under negotiated deals, largely mediated by the UN.