Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Syrian Army Preparing To Take Last Jihadi Redoubt in Eastern Ghouta

March 28, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Syrian army is preparing to storm Douma, the last town in Eastern Ghouta still held by jihadis, at any minute, if Jaish al Islam doesn’t surrender or return to the negotiating table. According to a report in AFP, Jaish al Islam wants to stay in Douma while the Russians want them to go to Idlib, just like Faylaq al Rahman and other groups agreed to do in other parts of the former jihadi-held enclave.

“The Russians don’t want an agreement for Douma that’s different from other parts of Ghouta, but Jaish al-Islam wants to stay and doesn’t want any residents to leave,”

an opposition source said. “They gave them an ultimatum,” the source continued, and said that the group had “until Wednesday or Thursday” to respond. According to a report in Al Masdar News, today was supposed to be the last day by which Jaish al Islam had to decide what it was going to do. There’s no word, yet, however, on the beginning of a new Syrian army assault, though troops are reportedly gathered around Douma.

Militants continue to stream out of Harasta and the villages of the southern pocket, however. Nearly 7,000, including relatives and others, were reported to have left in a one-hour time frame, yesterday. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported today that a total of 128,161 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta. This includes 103,117 civilians, 9,670 militants, and 15,374 members of their families. He also reported that in the course of the militant withdrawals, 15 suicide belts and 289 grenades were confiscated, yesterday, from the militants.

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