On March 30, Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Sergey Rudskoy announced that an agreement had been reached with Jaysh al-Islam to evacuate the remaining militants and their families from the Duma district, the last militant stronghold in Eastern Ghouta. According to Rudskoy, the agreement will be executed “soon”.
Only few hours following Rudskoy’s announcement, Jaysh al-Islam spokesman Hamza Bayrakdar denied that an evacuation agreement had reached. Bayrakdar also claimed that Jaysh al-Islam will never accept to withdraw from its remaining positions in Eastern Ghouta.
However, the Russian RT TV quoted Mohamad Alloush, a political leader of Jaysh al-Islam, as saying that the ongoing negotiation with Russia is “on the right course”.
Syrian pro-government activists reported on March 29 that Jaysh al-Islam is about to accept a deal that will allow its leaders to withdraw to Jordan, while its fighters will withdraw towards the East Qalamun region.
If an agreement is not reached within the next two days, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will resume its military operations against Jaysh al-Islam in Duma, according to Syrian pro-government sources.