Negotiators from a Russian military delegation entered a town in southern Damascus to discuss a transfer or surrender deal with militants, according to reports by Syrian media, citing an informed source in the capital.
The delegation from the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria reportedly entered the town of Babbila this afternoon to provide the militants stationed there with an opportunity to reconcile with the government or be transferred to another area – most likely to the northwestern province of Idlib.
Babbila is not a part of the East Ghouta region, and has witnessed little fighting between the Syrian Army and occupying militants, as it has been under a ceasefire agreement for months.
Syrian authorities are currently in the process of transferring militants from a cluster of towns and settlements in East Ghouta to northwestern Syria, as part of a large transfer deal.
Militants in the city of Douma refused a similar deal earlier this week, and forces from the Syrian Army are massing in the city's perimeter in preparation of storming it.
NEW MAP: The Siege of #Douma. #Russia gave militants inside the city two options: withdraw or face assault. #SAA ground forces are already amassing around Douma in case Jaish al-Islam refuses the offer. #Damascus #Syria pic.twitter.com/mH5uOxfalq— Peto Lucem (@PetoLucem) March 27, 2018
Including the areas which are voluntarily being vacated by militants, the Syrian Army effectively controls around 85 percent of the initial East Ghouta pocket and will almost certainly recover the remainder over the coming weeks.