DAMASCUS, Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front fired at government workers attempting to fix the Ain Fijeh spring northwest of Damascus on Saturday, pushing the workers to withdraw, pro-government al-Watan news website reported.
Fixing Ain Fijeh spring in the Barada Valley region to restore the water pumping into the capital Damascus was part of a deal reached last Wednesday, as the capital's over five million inhabitants have been struggling with the scarcity of water since the rebels shut off the spring on Dec. 22.
The deal walked on thorny road till it was reached on Wednesday, as the Nusra Front was among the rebels who attempted to repeatedly thwart any understanding with the government.
Part of the deal also included the reconciliation with the rebels who accept the truce with the government, as such rebels will have their records cleared and will be tasked by the government to protect the Barada Valley.
As for those who refuse the truce, the plan was for their departure to the northwestern province of Idlib.
Al-Watan said that maintenance workers withdrew on Saturday after the Nusra militants fired sniper shots at them.
According to the report, the workers had managed to fix part of the spring before their departure.
Also, pro-government Sham FM radio said retired Brigadier Ahmad Ghadban, who was in charge of the reconciliation file and the deal in Barada, was fatally shot by the Nusra Front in that area.
Another source familiar with the situation told Xinhua that Ghadban is dead.
It's worth mentioning that Barada Valley constitutes of 10 villages, some of them refused the truce, prompting the army to continue the offensive in the parts that didn't accept the truce, while negotiating with others who were desirous to end the conflict in that region.
On Saturday, the Syrian army succeeded to recapture Ain Khadra town, a day after capturing Bassimeh, both towns in Barada.
It's not yet clear how the government will deal with the incidents and the withdrawal of the workers, as restoring the water flow to Damascus is a number one priority.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK