Is the Fall of Homs a turning point in Regime's Quest to Recapture Syria? | Informed Comment: The Governor of Homs Province, Talal al-Barazi said Wednesday that 80 percent of the rebel fighters in that city have now been evacuated. It is expected that the rest will leave on Thursday.
Around a thousand fighters had been holed up in the old city of Homs and have now left, with 300 or so persons staying behind.
The regime’s retaking of Homs is not just an ordinary to and fro in a brutal, grinding civil war. It is a hands-down strategic victory for the ruling Baath regime of Bashar al-Assad. Homs is an industrial city of some 700,000 inhabitants, the third largest in Syria (a country of 22 million). It has a Sunni majority but a very large Christian community (at one point, at least, they were 1/3 of the inhabitants), along with minorities like Alawis. But neither size nor make-up explain its importance. Geography does.