BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:03 P.M.) – It has become apparent that the Syrian Army intends to launch a major offensive against besieged rebel forces in the eastern Qalamoun mountains.
Moments ago, reports came through stating that the Syrian Army had, on Sunday, sent negotiation delegations to the militant-controlled towns of Ar-Rahiybeh, An-Nassiryah, Al-Atneh, Jaiyroud and Al-Mansourah in eastern Qalamoun.
Three options were offered to rebel authorities:
- Reconcile with the Syrian government;
- Accept evacuation to areas of northern or southern Syria (choice given) under the control of allied militant groups; or
- Do neither and face a battle that they are guaranteed to not win.
According to Al-Masdar News journalist Ibrahim Joudeh, the rebels are unlikely not to surrender given how they have virtually zero chance of surviving an attack by Syrian government forces.
Finally, reports state that Russian warplanes are to participate in the Syrian Army offensive; they have already conducted airstrikes against rebels forces in the eastern Qalamoun mountains before.