On April 22, the local negotiations committee of the Rastan pocket [in the northern Homs countryside] and the Damascus government failed to held a pre-scheduled negotiation round, the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi reported.
The news outlet said the Russian mediators had wanted to hold the new round in the government-held area. However, the local negotiations committee rejected the proposal and insisted that the talks should be held in their areas.
Following the disagreement, the militants in the northern Homs countryside pocket shelled the civilian areas in the villages of Ghawr al-Assi and Qubaybat in eastern Hama.
On the other side, Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) helicopters dropped thousands of leaflets over the northern Homs countryside pocket, in which it called on the militants there to surrender.
The local negotiations committee in northern Homs and the Damascus government imposed a 3-days long ceasefire on April 19 and agreed to hold a new negotiation round once it’s over.
Local observers believe that Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are responsible for the failure of the negotiations in northern Homs. HTS repelled an attack of the SAA on April 21. This likely allowed the group to force the local negotiation committee to make a decision in favour to HTS.