Syria says ready to hold dialog with Eastern Ghouta terrorists
The Syrian government has expressed its readiness to engage in negotiations with the Jaish al-Islam Takfiri group that is still holding Douma, the last terrorist bastion in Eastern Ghouta.
"Jaish al-Islam terrorists have requested negotiations with the Syrian state, which will start the talks within two hours from now," state TV cited an official source as saying on Sunday.
Syria's SANA news agency also reported that the terrorists' appeal came after "the painful blows they received due to the decisive military operation on their positions and hotbeds in Douma."
The Syrian army, backed by the Russian air force, has almost entirely liberated Eastern Ghouta, which used to serve as a major militant stronghold and a launch pad for deadly raids on the residents of Damascus.
Douma is the only part of Eastern Ghouta that is still being held by the militants.
Separately on Sunday, Russia dismissed recent claims of an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government forces in Douma.
"We decidedly refute this information," said Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian peace and reconciliation center in Syria.
"We hereby announce that we are ready to send Russian specialists in radiation, chemical and biological defense to collect information, as soon as Douma is freed from militants. This will confirm the trumped-up nature of these statements," he added.