Reports that the Syrian moderate opposition has entered into a cease-fire with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in a Damascus suburb are not true, according to Syrian National Coalition officials.
Any such deal between moderate Syrian opposition forces and ISIS could derail congressional support for President Obama's plan to train and equip the Syrian forces -- a key tenet of the president's strategy against ISIS.
The Agence-France Press news agency had reported Friday that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a cease-fire deal was struck between ISIS and "moderate and Islamist rebels in Hajar al-Aswad," south of Damascus for the first time.
Under the deal, "the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other," AFP's report said.
But the Syrian National Coalition senior official said there was only a 24-hour truce between ISIS and a Free Syrian Army brigade called the "Sons of the Golan" in that same area on Friday in order to allow both sides to retrieve bodies of those killed.
The official said the cease-fire was temporary and did not last 24 hours, adding that fighting has resumed.
However, the official said he only spoke on behalf of the U.S.-vetted brigades fighting under the Free Syrian Army -- the military organization under the U.S.-backed Syrian National Coalition -- and not for any non-vetted groups.
But, the official said, "what matters is the vetted groups," since non-vetted groups would not receive U.S. training and weapons.
"FSA commanders declared that they will continue that fight until ISIS is completely eradicated in Damascus suburbs. No truce or cease fire with ISIS," added Syrian National Coalition spokesman Monzer Abkik.
Still, the reports did nothing to allay the fears of lawmakers who are preparing for a potential vote on whether to approve the plan before Congress convenes for recess.
Some lawmakers are concerned the weapons provided to the moderate Syrian opposition could fall into ISIS's hands.
Other lawmakers distrust the rebels.
Steven Sotloff, one of American journalists beheaded by ISIS, was believed to have been captured by moderate rebels in Syria, then sold to ISIS.
A vote on a short-term spending bill was delayed last week after the White House asked House Republicans to attach the authorization to the bill.
It’s also possible GOP leaders might decide to hold a separate vote on the authorization to equip the rebels.
The Hill was not able to immediately reach the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights after several requests for more information on its original report on the ceasefire.