BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:10 P.M.) – With Faylaq Al-Rahman’s latest agreement to surrender their last positions in the East Ghouta to the Syrian government today, Jaysh Al-Islam remains the last militant group in this region.
According to a military source in Damascus, Jaysh Al-Islam has repeatedly refused to surrender Douma to the government and vowed to keep fighting, despite the overwhelming odds against them.
The source added that Faylaq Al-Rahman and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham maintain close relationships with Turkey, which is one of the primary parties that helped negotiate a peaceful settlement with Russia and the government.
However, unlike the groups allied with Turkey, Jaysh Al-Islam is Saudi-backed and relies on town elders to negotiate with the government and their Russian counterparts in Damascus.
This has proven to be an obstacle for the Russians and Syrian government, as they do not have another powerful party to pressure Jaysh Al-Islam to accept an agreement.
The Syrian Army’s High Command has already committed the troops needed to capture Douma, but a battle for a town this large will be incredibly costly for all parties involved.
Knowing that it wont be easy to capture, the Syrian government and their Russian counterparts are attempting to sway Jaysh Al-Islam to accept a reconciliation agreement in Douma that would have them remain in the town, but without heavy arms.
While this differs from the Faylaq Al-Rahman agreement, Jaysh Al-Islam is also not embedded with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, which makes reconciliation much more appealing.