On April 20, an officer of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) revealed to SouthFront that the Damascus government and the besieged ISIS fighters in south Damascus city has not reached any final agreement yet. However, the officer confirmed that the negotiations between the two sides are still ongoing.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and several other Syrian sources claimed on April 19 that the Damascus government and ISIS fighters had reached the agreement, but later the agreement collapsed allegedly due to the stubbornness of the local ISIS leadership.
According to sources report, the SAA and its allies already captured the Ali Ibn Abi Talib Mosque in the southern part of the militant-held pocket. However, this still has to be confirmed.
According to the SAA officer, the SAA and its allies will step up their bombing campaign on ISIS positions in the Yarmouk refugee camp and the al-Hajar al-Aswad district in southern Damascus if the terrorist group declines to accept all the conditions of the Damascus government.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq reported that the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) had conducted more than 100 airstrikes on the Yarmouk camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad over the last 24 hours. The two areas were also shelled with hundreds of heavy rockets, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
In response to the SAA bombardment, ISIS fighters shelled several civilian areas in the southern part of Damascus with more than twelve mortar rounds. A source in the Syrian Police told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that four civilians had been killed and fifty-two others had been injured in the ISIS shelling.
Local observers believe that ISIS fighters will soon accept the Damascus government’s conditions and will withdraw towards the terrorist organization positions in the Homs desert because they allegedly lost most of their assets in the SAA bombardment.