Syria in Past 24 Hours: Army Imposes Control over 90% of Eastern Ghouta
Military sources confirmed on Saturday the army’s control over the terrorists’ key bases in Eastern Ghouta, including Harasta, saying that the Syrian army troops have succeeded in gaining control over 90% of Eastern Ghouta during their operations in the past month.
They added that the army has also tightened the noose on terrorists’ other strongholds in Hazeh and Ein Tarma.
Reports also said that based on a preliminary agreement with Faylaq al-Rahman terrorist group, the al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) and Faylaq al-Rahman militants will leave Arabayn, Zmelka and Jobar regions in the Southern parts of Eastern Ghouta for Idlib.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army deployed in the strategic town of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta after 7 years.
3,034 Ahrar al-Sham terrorists and their family members, including 1,072 militants, left Harasta for Idlib on 59 buses on Friday.
A total number of 4,386 people, including 1,413 terrorists and 111 commanders, left Harasta in the past two days.
Reports also said that the terrorists engaged in infighting while leaving the region which led to the death of 16 of them.
Field sources reported that the army has entered the region after full evacuation of terrorists from Harasta and started cleansing operations.
Russia announced on Saturday that a total of 103,606 civilians have been evacuated Eastern Ghouta with the assistance of the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria since the beginning of humanitarian pauses.
“Since the beginning of humanitarian pauses, a total of 103,606 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta with the assistance of the Russian reconciliation center,” the center’s chief Yuri Yevtushenko said.
He added that during the day as many as 6,550 people left Eastern Ghouta via the humanitarian corridor in the settlement of Muhayam al-Wafideen. In all, 21,681 people have used this corridor to leave the town of Douma since February 28.
According to Yevtushenko, more than 1,000 food baskets were distributed among the people in camps for those internally displaced from Ghrouta at the humanitarian corridors’ checkpoints on March 22. More than 2,600 hot meals were cooked for these people. A humanitarian operation was conducted in the city of Aleppo, where more than one tonne of bread was handed out to civilians. Drinking water was delivered to the settlement of Marrat in the province of Deir Ezzur. As many as 98 Syrians, including 34 children, received first aid assistance from Russian military medics during the day.
“As social infrastructure is restored in the Syrian province and everyday life is getting back to normal, more people return to their former homes. Thus, during the day, as many as 115 people returned to their homes in the province of Homs, and 537 people – in the province of Deir Ezzur,” the Russia reconciliation center chief stated.
Also on Saturday, sources said that the Syrian army units are preparing to deploy in the terrorists’ last bastion after reaching an agreement with Faylaq al-Rahman militant group on evacuation of all militants from the Southern regions of Eastern Ghouta.
Military sources reported on Saturday that the army has prepared a corridor to facilitate evacuation of al-Nusra Front and Faylaq al-Rahman terrorists from the four regions of Ein Tarma, Arabayn, Zmelka and Hazeh.
The Syrian army imposed control over 60% of Ein Tarma last night after clashes with the terrorists and rapid advances in the region.
Based on the agreement with the militants, they will gather in Arabayn on Saturday and will go towards a corridor between Arabayn and Harasta to enter the international highway which leads to Idlib.
The Syrian army has set conditions for the militants so that civilians remain in Jobar, Arabayn, Zmelka and Ein Tarma to receive humanitarian aid after evacuation of militants.
The Syrian army will be in full control of the Southern parts of Eastern Ghouta after completing control over these regions, and the only terrorist bastion still under their control will be town of Douma in the North.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army discovered the militants’ longest trench linking several regions in purging operations in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus.
Field sources reported on Saturday that the Syrian army units have found the terrorists’ largest trench network in Eastern Ghouta, linking Harasta, Douma and Modira to each other.
They added that the trench which is five meters wide and dug some 3 meters deep into the ground was used by the terrorists to drive their vehicles and trucks among the three regions.
The army soldiers also gained access to the terrorists’ huge caches of arms and military equipment which included large amounts of US-made semi-heavy and light weapons, including thermal rockets.
Also, Russia’s state media said that the Syrian army has been using hi-tech drones in its operations in Eastern Ghouta to speed up the march on terrorists’ centers in the region.
The Arabic-language Sputnik news agency quoted a military source as saying that the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta – as the main bastion of the terrorists trained by foreign military experts – have been surprised by the Syrian army’s high momentum marches.
“Terrorists have dug a large number of trenches and tunnels and established different bases to confront the Syrian army in the past 7 years,” the report said, “Yet, the Syrian army’s operation room has set up a database of targets with the help of the intel collected by the drone. The date includes warehouses and caches of weapons and ammunition and roads used to transfer the arms supplies and militants across the terrorist-held regions.”
Also on Saturday, the Syrian army sent a large number of fresh forces and military equipment to the Northern parts of Eastern Ghouta to ready for purging operations against Jeish al-Islam terrorists.
A mid-ranking military official confirmed on Saturday that the Syrian army has sent a large number of its special forces along with military equipment from Ein Tarma and Harasta to Douma, Jeish al-Islam’s main bastion in the region.
He referred to the agreement between the Syrian and Russian armies and Faylaq al-Rahman militants to evacuate Ein Tarma, Zmelka, Jobar and Arabayn, and said Douma is the last terrorist stronghold in Eastern Ghouta after cleansing these regions.
Meantime, reports said that based on the agreement with Faylaq al-Rahman almost 7,000 terrorists and their family members will leave the four regions for Idlib.
The Turkish army and affiliated militants occupied more regions in Northern Aleppo near the Syrian army bases during military operations against Kurds in Afrin.
The Turkish army and allied militants continued clashes with Kurds South of Afrin on Saturday, and captured the three villages of Fafartin, Borjekah and Kabjin and a watchtower near Kabajin.
The Turkish forces inched closer to the Syrian army bases in Northern Aleppo, Nobl and al-Zahra, after taking control of these regions.
Also on Saturday, Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) gained control over new regions in Western Aleppo after clashes with other terrorist groups.
Field sources in Western Aleppo reported on Saturday that Tahrir al-Sham engaged in clashes with Syria’s Tahrir Front in occupied villages of Balenta, Makbas and Jamiat al-Rahal, winning control of these regions from the latter group.
They underlined heavy clashes between the two sides in regions near the town of Dar al-Izza in Western Aleppo, noting that tens of militants of both sides were killed and wounded.
Also, reports said that high tensions and clashes are also underway between the two sides in Southern Idlib along with the infighting in Western Aleppo.
Two senior commanders of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at terrorist group were assassinated as internal tensions heightened with Syria’s Tahrir Front in Idlib.
Field sources reported on Saturday that one of Tahrir al-Sham commanders namely Ahmed Abu Homam al-Qadfeh was killed along with a number of militants after they came under attack by unknown assailants near the town of Ma’rat al-No’eman in Southern Idlib.
The incident happened as fierce tensions erupted between Tahrir al-Sham and Syria’s Tahrir Front in the town of Jaradeh near Ma’arat al-No’eman in Southern Idlib, cutting Ma’arat al-No’eman-Saraqib road.
Also, 30 Tahrir al-Sham terrorists were held captive during clashes in Khan Sonbol and the town of Kafr Batikh in Southern Idlib by Syria’s Tahrir Front.
Reports from Northern Idlib also said that Tahrir al-Sham deputy commander for border affairs named Khatab Abu Ibrahim was killed after a bomb was detonated in his car.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has started forcing civilians in Raqqa to pay for the costs of war with the Turkish army in Afrin after they faced an acute shortage of financial resources.
The SDF’s civil administration center has asked each family in the town of al-Tabaqah in Raqqa province to pay 500 Syrian Liras, citizens reported on Saturday.
The Kurdish militias have imposed the same rules in Tawihineh camp in Western Raqqa, and threatened to expel the families that deny to “cover the costs of war”.
Meantime, other reports disclosed that the Kurdish militants have disassembling warplanes in al-Tabaqah airbase and sold them in parts to unknown parties in a move to cover the costs of war in Afrin.