Jaysh Al-Islam group active in Douma region of Eastern Ghouta has entered negotiations with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), following its rivals from Ahrar Al-Sham and Faylaq Al-Rahman.
According to local sources, Jaysh Al-Islam is currently in contact both with the SAA and the Russian side, who are discussing the possibility of a peaceful solution which would allow civilians to remain in the area.
Previously it was reported that Jaysh al-Islam representatives and Douma elders had met with the Russians and agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and settlement of the legal status of the militants.
In turn, Ahrar Al-Sham fighters in Harasta agreed to lay down their arms in return for safe passage to insurgent-controlled areas and an offer to be pardoned under local reconciliation terms with the authorities for those who want to stay.
A similar agreement was successfully implemented in Saqba town a few days earlier. According to the deal, reached via negotiations between the local citizens and a representative of the Syrian government the militants were obliged to leave the area before the entrance of the Syrian troops, while civilians were allowed to remain in their homes. Those who choose to leave were given the opportunity to evacuate to the nearby towns of Zamalka and Aytn Tarma.
In recent days, the Syrian troops made huge advances in Eastern Ghouta, effectively cutting the suburb in three isolated parts: Douma under control of Jaysh al-Islam, central sector under control of Faylaq al-Rahman and Harasta under control of Ahrar al-Sham.
Eastern Ghouta has become the latest flashpoint in the Syrian conflict after the government forces launched a military campaign seeking to liberate the area from militant groups, including Jaysh al-Islam, Faylak al-Rahman and HTS.
To ensure the security of civilians, the Syrian authorities have created a humanitarian corridor and introduced a daily ceasefire lasting from 9:00 to 14:00. During this period the local citizens will be able to safely exit the area and receive medical assistance at the centres created in co-operation with the Syrian Red Crescent Society.
Previously, the SAA began to evacuate civilians from Hazrama and Nashabiya neighbourhoods of Eastern Ghouta after they had been liberated from the militants. Several thousands people were able to leave the area via humanitarian corridors.