Syria Daily: Regime Denies Agreement with ISIS South of Damascus

A destroyed regime armored vehicle amid devastation in Yarmouk, south of Damascus, Syria, May 2018

The Assad regime has denied an agreement with the Islamic State for the jihadists to evacuate their positions south of Syria’s capital Damascus.

Citing a “military source”, State news agency SANA said there is no deal for ISIS to be able to leave al-Hajar al-Aswad and the Yarmouk camp.

Pro-Assad blogs, citing their own “military source”, declared that “dozens of buses” had entered both suburbs to take ISIS fighters to the Badiya region in eastern Syria.

Pro-Assad forces launched an offensive a month ago to remove the Islamic State from its last areas near Damascus, with regime outlets proclaiming that a victory will be achieved quickly. However, while the offensive has taken part of al-Hajar al-Aswad, it has faced stiff ISIS resistance and has struggled to make inroads in Yarmouk, home to more than 200,000 displaced Palestinians before the 2011 uprising.

Last week pro-Assad sites had proclaimed yet again that all of al-Hajar al-Aswad had been captured.

A pro-opposition activist posted on Sunday morning:

Rebels in nearby areas such as Yalda, Babila, and Beit Sahm capitulated earlier this month to the regime, with forced removals of fighters and civilians to northern Syria and to Daraa Province in the south near the Jordanian border.

See Syria Daily, May 2: Swap Deal for Removals Near Damascus and in Northwest

Rebels took control of Yarmouk and al-Hajar al-Aswad in 2012, with civilians enduring a regime siege that caused scores of deaths from starvation and lack of medical care. The Islamic State pushed out the rebels in early 2015.

Several thousand civilians, most of them displaced Palestinians, are estimated to remain in Yarmouk.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Emily Thornberry cites popularity of Syria’s Assad:

    The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has a greater “depth and breadth of support than is recognised in the west”, the shadow foreign secretary has said. “There is an argument that if [Assad] had been as overwhelmingly unpopular as the rebels told the west at the outset, then he wouldn’t be there. I think there has been a depth and a breadth of support for Assad that has been underestimated.”

    • yeah, he is so popular that Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah had to save him from his own people! Death to Iran, Death to Iran, Death to Iran


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