Syrian regime gives final ultimatum to besieged Damascus suburb

Syrian regime gives final ultimatum to besieged Damascus suburb
The Syrian regime has told an opposition-held Damascus suburb to "unconditionally surrender" by Monday or face "full war".
2 min read
27 December, 2015
The Syrian regime have threatened all-out war on the already besieged Damascus suburb [Getty]
The Syrian regime has warned residents in the beseiged a Damascus suburb that unless Free Syrian Army opposition forces there "disarm and unconditionally surrender", it will resume "full war" on Moadamiyeh.

The remaining road to the town has been cut off for the last two days and the only checkpoint manned by the regime is closed. 

Acivists suspect that the regime's "full war" will begin with a heavy bombardment of the district - which is home to 45,000 civilians, many of them women and children - followed by a ground assault by pro-regime militias. 

Moadamiyeh's local council and FSA command have until Monday to respond to the ultimatum. 

The message was delivered during a meeting between the town's negotiation committee and representatives of the regime, activists said.

The talks were headed by Rafiq Lotf, the owner of the Iranian-backed al-Kawthar TV channel.

It is believed that the announcement could precede a "local ceasefire" to allow rebels and civilians to leave the area, effectively handing the regime control of the area.

A similar deal took place earlier this month in Homs.  

Most locals are adamant that they will stay in their homes, and believe the situation differs from that of Homs.

Then, a number of the fighters are thought to have originated from outside the city and the majority of civilians had already left, where most fighters in Moadamiyeh are local. 

Two years ago, rebels and the regime signed a "truce" in Moadamiyeh. However, the Syrian army continued its heavy bombardment of the area, and maintained its crippling of the neighbourhood which has now lasted more than three years.

The news follows an alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad's air force on the town last week.

Along with a delayed deal between militants in Yarmouk refugee camp and a number of surrounding areas to evacuate fighters, this may point to a new attempt by the regime to capture the remaining opposition-held districts of Damascus.