On April 4, Russia re-scheduled a negotiation round with local figures of the Eastern Qalamun region to unknown date, according to local sources. Russia gave the militants in the region a 3-days’ notice on April 1 to accept an evacuation agreement, a reconciliation agreement or to face a military operation. However, the militants have not responded to the Russia offer yet.
Most of the militants in the Eastern Qalamun region appear to be not ready to accept a peaceful solution. They even formed a united military command on April 2. On April 4, militants also burned down the building of Jayrud Town Council, which had been involved in the negotiations with Russia.
However, the Russian TV network RT reported that many militants, meanly from the towns of al- Ruhaybah and Jayrud, had agreed on a possible reconciliation agreement with the Damascus government.
Russia likely delayed the negotiations round in order to give the local figures more time to pressure the militants to accept an evacuation or a reconciliation agreement and to avoid a possible military operation. Local observers believe that this strategy could work as the militants in the Eastern Qalamun region understand that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have much bigger military capabilities.