According to unconfirmed reports, negotiations are under way between the Syrian government from the one side and the local council of Harasta area in Eastern Ghouta and Ahrar al-Sham fighters from the other side.
It is expected that an agreement could be reached to evacuate the militants and civilians who want to go to Idlib or northern Aleppo countryside from the Harasta area. This will allow the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to take control of this strategic district east of Damascus.
Ahrar al-Sham may want to withdraw from Harasta to avoid the Qaboun-like scenario where Jaish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham, the Al-Rahman Corps and Haya’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) failed to defend the district and withdrew from it after losing dozens of their militants.
Moreover, Ahrar al-Sham is currently the weakest group in the East Ghouta region near Damascus. This is a result of the constant infighting among Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam, the Al-Rahman Corps and HTS . Ahrar al-Sham considers itself a neutral party, and controls only a few sites in Eastern Ghouta, most notably Harasta.
Meanwhile the minister of national reconciliation in the Syrian government, Ali Haider, ensured that work is underway to end the armed presence in the Yarmouk camp, which is in the hands of fighters of HTS and ISIS.
Last month, the Palestine Liberation Army reached an agreement with HTS to evacuate the camp and return it to its Palestinian residents. A similar agreement with the ISIS militants is expected to be reached soon.