On March 28, dozens of civilians took at the streets in the Duma district in the northern part of the Damascus subrub of Eastern Ghouta to protest against Jaysh al-Islam militants that control the district.
The Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi reported that the protestors had headed towards the house of Abu Abd al-Rahman Ka’ka, the main religious scholar of Jaysh al-Islam, where they had called on the armed group to reach an agreement with the Damascus government.
مشاهد للمظاهرات التي خرجت في دوما والتي تطالب بخروج الارهابيين ودخول الجيش السوري، هتافات تدلل على تصميم الاهالي لخروج البويضاني وما يسمى بجيش الاسلام من تلك المدينة .. تابعوا معنا .. pic.twitter.com/PdYYm8nkX4
— #حسين_مرتضى (@HoseinMortada) March 28, 2018
Negotiation between Russia and Jaysh al-Islam have been ongoing for few weeks without any result. So far Jaysh al-Islam has refused many Russian offers that would allow its fighters to withdraw to the northern governorate of Idlib. Syrian opposition sources said that Jaysh al-Islam had feared that it will be eliminated in Idlib by its two main foes: Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Ahrar al-Sham Movement.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces have started taking offensive positions around Duma, according to pro-government sources.
A source in the SAA told SouthFront that the SAA and its allies are ready to launch their attack on positions of Jaysh al-Islam in Duma, if the negotiation witness no progress.
According to some pro-government experts, the Jaysh al-Islam leadership will not likely change its decision before receiving a military defeat, similar to what happened with many other armed groups, including the Ahrar al-Sham Movement and Faylaq al-Rahman.