On April 28, ISIS attacked positions of Jaysh al-Ababil (one of the Free Syrian Army militant groups) in the area between the Yarmouk refugee camp and the district of Yalda and captured a hospital and nearby buildings there, according to reports from pro-militant sources.
Over the past days, ISIS members had repeatedly attacked positions of their more “moderate” counterparts in southern Damascus. However, according to local sources, all these attacks were mostly aimed at preventing them from negotiating with the Syrian government. The ISIS leadership sends them a signal: “if you don’t fight the Syrian Army, we will attack you”.
Despite the high military activity, ISIS is in a complicated situation in the area. Recently, the group has lost a few of its field commanders in southern Damascus and has been forced to withdraw from some positions in the districts of al-Kadam, al-Jourah, Madaniyah and Zayn. At the same time, fierce clashes in Taqaddom has resulted in almost no progress for the Syrian Army.
Local sourecs link the lack of the progress in southern Damascus with the absense of the Tiger Forces that are one the most effective offensive formations of the Syrian government. Nonetheless, even without the Tiger and his troops, the Syrian military has a significant advantage over the militants and continue gaining momentum.
Meanwhile, speculations once again appeared that the Syrian government and ISIS in southern Damascus had reanched an agreement that would allow ISIS members to withdraw from Yarmouk to the Homs desert.
It’s important to note that no official confirmation on the issue has appeared yet.
Considering that “ISIS will soon withdraw” speculations appeare on a cosntant basis, this very deal may have nothing with the real developmments on the ground. However, if ISIS really withdraws, this will allow to avoid additional destruction and casualties in southern Damascus.
— Salvin Yula (@SalvinYula) 27 April 2018