Homs-Hama highway opens for humanitarian convoys in Syria

TASS– The highway connecting the Syrian cities of Homs and Hama has been opened for humanitarian convoys, including international ones, Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria Lieutenant General Alexandr Vyaznikov told reporters. He added that the first United Nations convoy had already travelled along the highway.

“In the past couple of days, the Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria has made an agreement to open the Homs-Hama highway,” he said. “The next task is to repair the highway and ensure traffic safety, while demining needs to be done on certain segments of the highway,” Vyaznikov noted.

According to him, the Russian military has already accompanied the first UN convoy, consisting on 48 trucks, to provide aid to the residents of Al-Rastan.

According to earlier reports, the Russian military reached an agreement on the unblocking of the Homs-Hama highway with the armed opposition groups active in the de-escalation zone north of Homs.

Syrian de-escalation zones

At the Astana meeting on Syria, the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire (Russia, Iran and Turkey) signed a memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.

De-escalation zones include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo Provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria.

Starting from May 6, military activities and aircraft flights in the de-escalation zones are banned. At the same time, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to take all the necessary measures to continue fighting against terrorists on these territories and in the rest of Syria.

The memorandum will remain in effect for six months and can be automatically extended for another six months.

Three de-escalation zones have already been established, while the fourth zone in the Idlib Province is being set up.