The U.S. backed, Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF), have signed a ceasefire agreement with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in the Rif Dimashq Governate. According to the ceasefire agreement, the two militant groups will not engage in violence with one another in the densely populated city of Hajar Al-Aswad, just south of Damascus. The agreement outlines the purpose of the ceasefire, alluding to their mutual interest in usurping the “Nusayri Government” (Nusayri is a derogatory word used to insult Alawi Muslims) in Damascus.
Other rebel groups involved in the ceasefire with ISIS are Liwaa’ ‘Ahrar Turkman Al-Golan, Liwaa’ Hittin, and Liwaa’ Al-‘Ummah Al-Waheeda; these groups operate primarily in the Rif Dimashq, Al-Quneitra, and Dara’a Governates. Recently, ISIS militants have been identified in the Yarmouk Camp District and the village of Babeela in south Damascus. While, rebel group Jaysh Al-Islam has combatted ISIS militants in the East Ghouta, most rebel groups in Rif Dimashq have avoided confrontation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.
This agreement was signed two days after U.S. President Barack Obama released a public statement in regards to ISIS’ presence in the region. ISIS militants are believed to have entered Syria through the Lebanese border, where they have a significant presence in the ‘Arsal District. Yesterday, the Lebanese Government arrested over 20 suspected militants in southern Lebanon, after the latter was caught entering the country from Shebaa’ Farms.