The Syrian regime and its allies have struck a deal with ISIS on the withdrawal of the terrorist militias from Bukamal city, the last stronghold of the extremist group in Syria, to the countryside of east Deir Ezzor, where battles rage between ISIS militants and US-led Syrian Democratic Forces fighters.
“The last agreement reached between the regime and ISIS is only part of several deals previously reached in al-Qalamoun, Deir Ezzor and al-Mayadeen, before reaching Bukamal,” Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the SDF, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday.
There have been no reports on the exact number of ISIS militants who departed Bukamal as part of the deal.
Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel-Rahman told Asharq Al-Awsat that a maximum of 2,000 ISIS militants could still be present in Deir Ezzor province.
“The Bukamal city was less besieged than al-Mayadeen, a situation that allowed ISIS militants to withdraw without resistance,” Abdel-Rahman said, adding that the terrorist group has entered the phase of its complete collapse.
At the political level, the Syrian opposition’s “Riyadh 2 conference” is expected to kick off on Nov. 22 for two days, according to Syrian opposition sources.
Amid the continued efforts to form a united delegation by joining both the “Moscow” and “Cairo” platforms to the Geneva talks, sources from the High Negotiations Committee told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is a tendency to send invitations to persons rather than entities.
The sources said that the Moscow and Cairo platforms in addition to other national figures would be personally invited to the conference with an aim of expanding the Committee and forming a delegation that represents it in the talks.
However, the sources predicted that the Moscow platform would reject the invitation.