On March 23, Jaysh al-Islam agreed to release more than 3,500 captives from its prisons in the Duma district in the northern part of the Eastern Ghouta region following successful negotiations with the Damascus government, according to several Syrian pro-government sources.
Under the same agreement, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will evacuate more than 3,000 injured and sick civilians from the Duma district.
Jaysh al-Islam has captured thousands of SAA soldiers and civilians, including entire families, since late 2011. The armed group imprisoned these soldiers and civilians in a large concentration camp in the Duma district, that’s known as the “al-Tuba prison”.
Hundreds of families, mainly from minority groups, were captured by Jaysh al-Islam during a single attack on the civilian area of Adra southeast of Duma on December 11, 2013.
This agreement will likely be followed by a full evacuation agreement that would force Jaysh al-Islam fighters to withdraw from their remaining positions in Eastern Ghouta to another opposition-held area, most likely the northern governorate of Idlib.