Jaysh al-Islam issued an official video announcing the approval of Jaysh al-Islam on the initiative launched by the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside. The goal is to solve problems between Jaysh al-Islam and the joint forces of Faylaq al-Rahman and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). The initiative will dissolve all armed groups in Eastern Ghouta and unite them into one armed organization under any agreed name.
“Despite all the attempts of military escalation against us by the alliance of Faylaq al-Rahman and the Al-Nusra Front, we haven’t been dragged into confrontation with those we see as brothers in religion, arms and revolution like Faylaq al-Rahman, and we have never stood up to any initiative to unite the ranks and heal the rift”. Jaish al-Islam spokesman Hamza Birqdar said in the video. “We declare our agreement, in the leadership of Jaysh al-Islam, to the initiative launched by the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside under the command of Colonel Amar Khaled Al-Nimr on the 5th of this month to end the crisis in the eastern Ghouta.”
Lt. Col. Abu Osama, spokesman for the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside, said:
“The main goal of the initiative is to unite the military factions, followed by the unification or coordination of the work of civilian staffs such as the judiciary, police, service institutions and others that suffer from division in the current situation.”
It’s believed that the foreign supporters, especially Saudi Arabia, are trying to unite all opposition forces in Eastern Ghouta, including HTS under their leadership. The aim of the effort is to counter government fources anti-terror efforts in the area.