Syria in Past 24 Hours: Army Frees Over 80% of Eastern Ghouta
Sources said that the army men, deployed in Saqba settlement in the depth of Eastern Ghouta, managed to advance against terrorists in the Northern and Eastern parts of Eastern Ghouta, imposing control over more regions near Kafr Batna region.
The sources further said that the terrorists retreated towards Zmelka and Hazeh settlements under the army attack.
They further said that 83 percent of Eastern Ghouta is now under the army’s control after the recent advances.
Also in the past 24 hours, more than 79,000 civilians have left terrorist-held regions in Eastern Ghouta via humanitarian corridors for safe zones controlled by the Syrian Army troops, the spokesman for the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria said.
Brigadier General Vladimir Zolotokhin reported that over 6,000 civilians have left terrorist-held villages and settlements via Hamouriyeh corridor since this morning.
In the meantime, field sources reported that more than 79,000 civilians have so far fled terrorist-held regions in Eastern Ghouta for specified locations under the army’s control.
Local sources said that the militants continue to abduct civilians to prevent them from leaving Eastern Ghouta and to use them as human shield.
Also in the past 24 hours, two main terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta demanded relocation to militant-held regions in Idlib province after talks with the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria and amid rapid advances of the army in the region, well-informed sources reported.
The sources said that representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Rahman in Arbin, Harasta, Hazeh, Jobar and Ein Terma held talks with the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, and demanded relocation of their gunmen from Eastern Ghouta to Northern and Northwestern Syria.
The sources said that the terrorists have asked to be sent to Idlib to join the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) and other terrorist groups affiliated to the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield.
The army has laid full siege on the terrorists in different parts of Eastern Ghouta and the militant groups are losing ground on a daily basis.
Also on Monday, the Syrian army’s artillery units and Aircraft pounded the positions and movements of the ISIL in the Southern countryside of Damascus city, inflicting major losses on the militants, field sources reported.
The army’s artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at ISIL’s strongholds in Hajar al-Aswad, Bardi Company and Pour Saeed region in the Southern countryside of Damascus.
Also, the aircraft pounded ISIL’s positions in Hajar al-Aswad, destroying several positions.
In the meantime, the army men exchanged heavy fire with ISIL in the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp, Hajar al-Aswah and al-Tadhmon in Southern Damascus.
Almost 730 Turkish army men and allied militants were killed in clashes in Northern Syria that have also inflicted over 3,600 casualties on the Kurdish militias in Afrin region, a media outlet reported.
The Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted Turkish İYİ (Good) Party Leader Meral Akşener as saying that a sum of 762 Turkish forces and allied militants have been killed in Operation Olive Branch since January 20.
In the meantime, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday that a sum of 3,603 Kurdish fighters have been killed or held captive in the Turkish army operation in Afrin since January 20.
Also in the past 24 hours, a large Turkish Army convoy, escorted by Ankara-backed militants, has arrived in Jabal (Mount) Anak area near the town of Anadan, just North of Aleppo city in Syria.
Masdar news reported that the convoy was over one hundred vehicles in size – consisting of self-deploying bridging equipment, armored personnel carriers, armored cars, lorries, fuel trucks and excavators.
Also in tow with the military column was about a company of Turkish troops; these servicemen will most likely act as the security forces which maintain watch over the frontline areas opposing Syrian Army lines.
The deployment of additional Turkish forces to the Anadan region is part of an ongoing de-escalation scheme brokered between Moscow and Ankara.
Turkey’s role in all of this is to establish ‘observation points’ with its own military to monitor the ceasefire.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants continued Operation Olive Branch after they captured the town of Afrin on Sunday and managed to purge Kurdish militias from more villages and regions in Northwestern Aleppo.
The Ankara forces occupied the villages of Walad al-Arab, Khalil Oshaqi, Daq Oshaqi military camp in Ma’abatli region and the center of Ma’abatli region.
Also, the forces of Operation Olive Branch captured the villages of Jatal Qabo and Sheikh Obasi in Rajou region and the village of Kamrouk in Sheikh Khorzo region.
The militant-affiliated sources said that they cut off the road connecting Afrin to Rajou after they gained control over the villages of Kokhi and Silo.
Also on Monday, the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces celebrated the occupation of Afrin by hoisting the Turkish flag over Afrin’s legislative council building on Sunday, after declaring full control over the town following an eight-week offensive to drive out Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces.
The Turkish-backed FSA forces also waved the FSA flag while shooting in the air in celebration of capturing the Syrian town, AMN reported.
According to local media, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the center of Syria’s Afrin is “entirely under the control” of the Turkish Armed Forces and the FSA fighters within the framework of Operation Olive Branch.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Ankara-backed militants have started plundering properties of people in the newly-occupied town of Afrin in Northern Syria, local sources disclosed, adding that even several cases of clashes have been reported among militants over distribution of the stolen properties.
The sources said that the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army has embarked on looting houses, properties, shops, vehicles, government buildings and military posts after the Turkish army and other forces of Operation Olive Branch occupied the Kurdish-held town of Afrin on Sunday.
The sources further said that the Ankara-affiliated militants have stolen food stuff and electronic systems from restaurants, other materials from people’s houses and shops and have taken them out of the town.
The sources went on to say that the militants have engaged in several cases of infighting over their shares of the war booty.
Kurdish sources in Northeastern Syria disclosed once again on Monday that the US troops have conducted heliborne operations to rescue a number of entrapped ISIL commanders who had escaped to Northern Hasaka province after losing the war in Iraq.
Local sources in Hasaka said on Monday that they have witnessed three US helicopters land in a region between the two villages of al-Jeisi and Kalo, 2km South of Tal Hamis region in Southeastern Qamishli.
They added that during the operations a number of US military men evacuated 4 ISIL commanders of Iraqi origin from the region.
The US forces have recently intensified their heliborne operations to evacuate ISIL commanders who have been trapped in Hasaka province.
A notorious field commander of the Free Syria Army was killed after a bomb planted in his car went off in Northern Dara’a, local sources said on Monday.
The sources said that Mofid al-Barqash, the commander of the FSA-affiliated Omar Brigade, was killed after a bomb in his vehicle was detonated at a cross-road near the small town of Salmin in Northern Dara’a.
The sources said that three of al-Barqash’s aides were also killed in the blast.
In the meantime, other sources reported that heavy fighting has started between the FSA and ISIL terrorists near the towns of Hith, Jalin and al-Bakar in Western Dara’a.
The Syrian Army troops, backed up by the country’s Air Force, repelled ISIL’s heavy offensive in Eastern Homs, inflicting major losses on the terrorists on Monday.
The army men opened heavy fire at ISIL and fended off the terrorists’ attack in a region between Humeimeh and T2 Station in Eastern Homs.
The ISIL left behind a number of dead and injured forces and retreated under the heavy fire of the army.
Also, the Syrian air force fighter jets conducted a heavy bombardment on ISIL’s positions and movements in Humeimeh in Eastern Badiyeh (desert), and inflicted an unspecified number of casualties on the terrorists, according to the reports.