May 6, 2014
Last Friday, Syrian government and opposition fighters reached a ceasefire agreement designed to allow rebel fighters to relocate, along with their light weaponry, from the long-besieged Old City of Homs to opposition-held territory in northern Homs province. The withdrawal of more than 2,000 rebel fighters and civilians from Old Homs, which has faced a suffocating regime blockade since June 2012, will effectively leave pro-Assad forces in full control of Homs, Syria’s third-largest city.
As Old Homs’ citizens await evacuation, activist Orhan Gazi says that Homsis “have begun to distance themselves from the revolutionary mindset” that earned the city’s nickname as “the capital of the revolution.” Today, Gazi tells Osama Abu Zeid, the people of Homs “are now simply trying to live, nothing more.”
2,000 rebel fighters and civilians are expected to withdraw from Old Homs later this week. Photo courtesy of Twitter user @NoonPost.
Q: What will happen if Homs falls? How will it affect the Syrian Revolution?
I was inside the siege until not long ago. As I see it, the departure of the remaining young men from Homs will limit the revolution in liberates areas. Frankly speaking, what I have seen since leaving the siege is that Homs’s civilians have begun to distance themselves from the revolutionary mindset; they are now simply trying to live, nothing more. This means that public support for the revolution in Homs is very weak.
I’m not trying to exaggerate or make people into heroes, I want to tell you the reality of what’s happening now. I expect there are some youths who will leave Homs and continue to play a role in the revolution, but those people have to be prepared to plan their work and see it through to the end. We don’t want to repeat the same mistakes we have made in the past.
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