The evacuation of sick and wounded civilians from the Duma district has stopped and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has pulled off the evacuation buses from the entrance of the district, Hosein Mortada, a journalist of the Iranian al-Alam TV, reported on April 5. Mortada said that the process had been halted due to internal problems within the Jaysh al-Islam leadership.
Earlier, the Russian TV netowrk RT revealed that a new negotiation round between Jaysh al-Islam on the one side and Russia and the Damascus government on the other side was held on April 5. While the results of the new round are unclear yet, RT said that most Jaysh al-Islam fighters had rejected any agreement with the Damascus government.
Some Syrian pro-government sources believe that Jaysh al-Islam has used the evacuation agreement to get rid of anyone who oppose it or constitutes a burden on it, including sick and wounded civilians, militants from other armed groups and opposition activists.
Mohamad Alloush, the political leader of Jaysh al-Islam, denied on April 3 that Jaysh al-Islam had agreed to withdraw from the Duma district and described such reports as “a devil’s dream”.
Russia gave Jaysh al-Islam in the Duma district a 5-days’ notice on April 4 to accept a full evacuation agreement or it will launch a military operation against it. Facing the stubbornness of Jaysh al-Islam leadership, a military solution appears to be closest option now.