Strategic Expert to ST: Fresh "Jaish al-Islam" Terror Attacks on Damascus Aim to Blackmail Syrian Government

The fresh terror attacks being carried out by the so-called ‘Jaish al-Islam’- positioned in Douma city in the eastern Ghouta of Damascus- against the capital aims to blackmail the Syrian government and to prevent the completion of Syrian army’s victory against terrorist groups around Damascus, the Military and Strategic expert, retired Brigadier-General Haitham Hassoun, told the Syriatimes e-newspaper on Saturday.

The retired officer made it clear that the so-called ‘‘Jaish al-Islam’ seeks to blackmail the Syrian government in order to change the terms of the evacuation deal including the evacuation destination- towards south or east- especially for the high-ranking leaders, and the amount of money which ‘Jaish al-Islam’ terrorists want to take with them and to make administrative gains inside Douma city.

 He added that the rescission of Russian-brokered deal by ‘Jaish al-Islam’ serves the Turkish regime that fears the Syrian army’s forthcoming military operations in Idlib and in the west of Aleppo.

“The Turkish regime wants to reshuffle cards and to prevent the completion of Syrian army’s victory over terrorist groups around Damascus as reports talk about a deal reached with armed groups in areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem in south of Damascus,” the retired BGen. Hassoun said, indicating that the completion of the Syrian army’s victory around Damascus means the move of military operations towards Idlib and the west of Aleppo where the Turkish regime wants to keep its occupation of Afrin area.

He pointed out that the terrorists of ‘Jaish al-Islam’ bet on the file of hostages and abductees being held by them and they received some guarantees from their operators, who seek propping them up. “But those terrorists have not properly estimated the response of the Syrian leadership to terror attacks on Damascus. They will pay a high price,” the retired officer asserted.

Military decisiveness

He underscored that claims about conflicts between the terrorist Mohammad Alloush and the military leader Bwidani come within the framework of exchanging roles in order to put pressures on the Syrian government and to blackmail it.

“The launch of military operation against terrorists in Douma city means that the option of military decisiveness has been taken but the door is still open for terrorists to surrender under new conditions, mainly the release of all hostages held by terrorists in one batch before any other step,” the retired BGen. Hassoun concluded.

Over the past 48 hours, the terrorists of the so-called ‘ Jaish al-Islam’ [ which has nothing to do with Islam] renewed their mortar attacks on Damascus after they rescind the evacuation deal, killing many innocent civilians and wounding scores more.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour