A delegation of Russia and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) warned militants in the besieged Eastern Qalamun region during a new negotiation round that they will soon face a military operation if they do not accept an evacuation agreement, the pro-government blog al-Masdar reported on July 1.
Russia and the SAA reportedly offered militants a third option which is a reconciliation agreement that allows all of them to rejoin the SAA and the National Defense Forces (NDF).
Local sources from the Eastern Qalamun region confirmed that the negotiation round had been held on July 1. However, the sources didn’t provide any information about the results of the round.
Prior to a new negotiation round, the commander of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement in the region “Abu Adam” announced on his personal Facebook page that the militants reject any sort of agreement with the Damascus government.
More than 1,000 well-armed militants are currently stationed in the Eastern Qalamun region. Although they are besieged, they managed to carry out two deadly attacks against the SAA in March and even shot down a Syrian warplane during the first attack.
Syrian pro-government sources reported that Russian and Syrian warplanes are already conducting airstrikes on the militants’ positions in the Eastern Qalamun region. If this is confirmed, this will indicate that a military solution may be possible.