Rebels will not negotiate withdrawal from East Ghouta: Jaish al-Islam’s military spokesman

Damascus, Syria: The rebels will not negotiate the withdrawal of their forces from the East Ghouta region of Damascus, the Reuters reported this morning.

Hamza Birqdar, Jaish al-Islam’s military spokesman told Reuters in a text message that they are not ready to negotiate and their fighters are ready to defend their land.

“There are no negotiations about this subject. The factions of Ghouta and their fighters and its people are holding onto their land and will defend it,” Hamza Birqdar told Reuters in a text message.

This Reuters report comes just hours after the rebels lost a large portion of the East Ghouta region to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that regime reinforcements were sent to East Ghouta on Wednesday. Seven-hundred fighters with pro-Assad militias also arrived in East Ghouta the same day.

Regime forces have seized 45 percent of the East Ghouta enclave in recent days.

The Syrian Army and their Russian allies have repeatedly demanded that the rebels surrender their East Ghouta pocket in order to avoid any hostilities.

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