Members of the Jabhat Fath Al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) burned down five buses which were heading to the besieged Shia dominated Kafriya and Fua’ towns in order to evacuate the civilians. This violation has blocked the evacuation deal, which was supposed to be resumed today after all parties agreed to a new version of the deal that dictates the evacuation of 1250 civilians from those towns in exchange of the evacuation of half of those that are still in besieged Aleppo in a new convoy. Then it will be followed by the evacuation of another convoy of 1250 civilians from the same towns in return of the evacuation of an another half of those in besieged Aleppo. The final phase of the agreement will include the evacuation of 1500 people from the Shia dominated towns in exchange of evacuating 1500 people from Madaya and Zabadani in west of Damascus, which are currently besieged by the Lebanese pro-Assad Hizbollah militia.
The violation of the JFS took place in the evening after their affiliates opened fire and burned down 5 buses in the countryside of Idlib, which were heading in Kufriyya and the Fura’a town. This led Assad’s forces to freeze the evacuation deal by blocking access to the convoy that was heading to western Aleppo while passing through their checkpoints in the Rammousseh, and then they forced it back to besieged Aleppo. The violation committed by the JFS sparked outrage mainly among the residents of besieged Aleppo, as well as activists, who considered this practice as a move that overlooks the lives of 1000 of civilians and patients who are waiting to be evacuated from besieged Aleppo.
In response, local factions issued a statement today condemning this act committed by irresponsible people against the Kufriyya and Fura’a town, adding that it is a behavior that defames the Syrian revolution and it also gambles with the lives of the besieged civilians. In addition, they demanded from those accountable for it to be held responsible, stating that the parties who are in control of those areas should take all necessary measures to stop those violations.
This violation committed by the Nusra occurred in a critical situation, as it could be used as a pretext to block the evacuation deal, which would cause the besieged civilians to pay the price for it. Civilians in Syria are already paying the price of the sectarian war being led by extremist factions, be it Nusra front or other jihadist or the Iranian militias, who are also extremists. In Kufriyya and Fua’a, the residents have paid the price for their religious affiliation.