On March 29, Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu revealed that Russian forces in the Damascus subrub of Eastern Ghouta had foiled a plot to attack buses evacuating militants and their families from the region to the Syrian governorate of Idlib.
According to the Russian TV network RT, Shoygu said that Russian soldiers had confiscated and dismantled 48 suicide belts, which had been with militants trying to get aboard the buses.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia didn’t release detailed information about the attack plot. However, Syrian pro-government activists believe that fighters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which are a part of the evacuation deal, may have been behind the plot in an attempt to sabotage the evacuation agreement.
Earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that clashes had erupted among militants around the evacuation buses in Eastern Ghouta. This incident could be linked to the attack plot.
HTS and Faylaq al-Rahman reached an agreement with the Damascus government to evacuate their fighters from their remaining positions in Eastern Ghouta to Idlib governorate on March 23. The agreement is only hours away from being fulfilled, according to Syrian pro-government sources, who also confirm that most militants have already left East Ghouta.