Four Towns Agreement

On 24 September 2015, more than two months after the start of the Battle of Zabadani (2015), the United Nations announced that an agreement had finally been reached between the belligerents after repeated mediation efforts. Under the agreement, deep-rooted rebels must withdraw from Zabadani, besieged by the Syrian government, and leave the city to the Syrian government while surrendering all weapons except for small arms, and withdraw from the Idlib government. In contrast, civilians (approximately 10,000 people) who are still in the rebel-besieged Shiite villages of Fu`ah and Kefriya will be evacuated. Control of the villages would not be handed over to the rebels; However, about 4,000 pro-government forces are believed to remain in the villages. The plan was expected to take six months to be fully implemented, respecting extended ceasefires in each region. The evacuation of the wounded from both sides was scheduled to begin on September 25, 2015. Another provision is the release of 500 rebel prisoners in prisons held by the Syrian government. The agreement is overseen by the UNITED Nations Office in Damascus. [2] [4] The agreement allows civilians and pro-government fighters to leave al-Fu`ah and Kefraya for Aleppo, in exchange for opposition fighters and their families, to travel from Zabadani, Madaya and parts of the Yarmouk camp to areas controlled by armed opposition groups, most likely Idlib. As part of the agreement, Iran also reached an agreement with Turkey, which provided for the renouncement of Kurdish parties that threaten Ankara.

Turkey continues to fear that Iran will take over the Kurdish cause in Syria in favour of Assad – although it also knows that Tehran is facing its own problem of Kurdish unrest in its own country and that it wants to develop only limited Kurdish influence in Syria. In exchange, residents of two rebel-held towns near Damascus, Madaya and Zabadani will benefit from safe transit. After the attack, evacuees from the city of Madaya crossed the city of Idleb and residents of Foua and Kafraya to the city of Aleppo. After the arrival of the two groups at transit points, disputes between the belligerents delayed the evacuation by more than 12 hours. On 15 April, a car bomb exploded in the Al-Rashideen area, killing at least 125 people, including at least 67 children, 13 women and 16 men, and 413 wounded, including 58 children, and seven humanitarian security workers, according to local health authorities. As the explosion was near the idP buses in Foah and Kafraya, most of the victims came from these towns.