On Saturday, both Russia and Syria reached a de-escalation agreement with groups of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.
According to opposition sources, the agreement was reached with the help of the Egyptian mediation. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the first humanitarian aid convoy was set to Eastern Ghouta along with the evacuation of the wounded persons as part of the agreement.
The Russian Defense Ministry said:
“Today’s agreement delineates the borders of the de-escalation zone in the eastern Ghouta, and identified the deployment of separation and observation forces in Ghouta and the authorities, as well as, identified the lines of humanitarian aid and civilian crossings.”
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the agreement was the result of negotiations in the Egyptian capital of Cairo between the Syrian government and the moderate Syrian opposition.
From his side, spokesman for Faylaq al-Rahman faction, Wael Allwan, said to “Enab Baladi” opposition website:
“We have contact with the factions of Daraa Province who had a national and honorable position regarding the South Agreement, as they insisted that the Damascus countryside fronts be within the de-escalation zones.”
Allwan gave a negative impression, describing the agreement as a media agreement and not practical.
Jaysh al-Islam has agreed to support the de-escalation agreement in Eastern Ghouta, and confirmed its commitment to it.
Head of Jaysh al-Islam’s political staff Mohammed Alloush said to the Sputnik News Agency:
“Yes, the agreement was signed and now it’s being executed, God willing, will lead to lifting the siege on Ghouta and entering of all humanitarian materials and fuel to Ghouta”. Alloush added: “There will be points of separation between us and the regime, and this is part of the political solution or the preparation of a political solution in accordance with international resolutions.”
The Syrian Defense Ministry announced in an official statement a ceasefire in a number of areas of Eastern Ghouta in the Damascus countryside starting from 12 p.m. The Syrian Defense Ministry confirmed that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will respond to any breach of the de-escalation agreement.
It’s believed that Ayn Tarma area and Jobar district in east of Damascus will be excluded from the de-escalation agreement, especially with the persistent negative attitude of US-backed Faylaq al-Rahman, who is the most important ally of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in the area.