In Syria, surrender begins to look like a good plan

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Reuters photo of Al Nusra fighters in Syria

RIA Novosti

October 3, 2015

Translated from Russian by Tom Winter

Latakia, Oct 3 – Seven hundred militants and men wanted by the government have surrendered with their weapons to the competent authorities in the province of Deraa in southern Syria in the past few days, according to the national news agency SANA on Saturday.

In Deraa, according to the agency, more than 450 militants, plus 250 people wanted by the government, have decided to lay down their arms and return to civilian life, in the framework of the national reconciliation program.

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The militants surrendered turning in their automatic rifles, machine guns and sniper rifles.

The most striking example of success of the national reconciliation program, announced by the Syrian government, occurred last year in Homs. 1,500 fighters turned themselves in there after they had taken the center of the city.

The national program of reconciliation allows Syrian citizens to surrender their weapons and go through a rehabilitation process in order to return to civilian life.

The armed conflict in Syria has been going on since March 2011 and its victims, according to the UN, number more than 220 thousand people. Militias belonging to various armed groups oppose the government. The most active fighters are the extremist groups “Islamic State” and “Jebat Al-Nusra .”

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