Field Report [26 March – 1 April 2018]
26 March 2018
- The Syrian Oil Ministry has signed a contract for 50 years with the Russian Stroytransgaz company for the extraction and operating of phosphate reserves in eastern Palmyra.
- The Syrian foreign minister Walid Al Muallim officially visited Jordan. The previous visit was in 2015.
- Evacuations of Eastern Ghouta continue under the supervision of the Assad regime. Another 5400 people were evacuated today.
- The Assad regime has executed a hostage exchange with Daesh militants to the south of Damascus.
27 March 2018
- Another 3268 people were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta.
- Two civilians have lost their lives as a result of airstrikes in southern Idlib.
- Assad regime forces have bombarded the opposition-held region of Gantu to the north of Homs.
- Opposition fighters have shot down a drone near Daraa.
28 March 2018
- A new border crossing has been opened from the Turkish province of Hatay to Afrin and the wider region to ease the flow of humanitarian aid.
- Assad regime forces to the West of Abu Kamal have allegedly lost 28 soldiers in clashes with Daesh fighters.
- The SDF/YPG have announced the founding of the “Future Syria Party” during the congress in Raqqa.
- Opposition forces in Eastern Qalamoun have announced that Assad regime forces have started an offensive.
29 March 2018
- US president Donald Trump has announced they will withdraw from Syria very soon.
- French president Emanuel Macron has accepted a SDF delegation.
- Assad regime forces have allegedly executed 4 people, one of whom was a woman, in the square of the Kafer Batna neighborhood in Eastern Ghouta.
- US-led Coalition Forces have conducted an air-mobile operation in the Abu Kamal region.
30 March 2018
- Two personnel were killed and 5 were wounded among the US-led Coalition Forces stationed in Syria.
- The people of Raqqa protested the failure of retrieving bodies from under the rubble while it has been months since the city was captured from Daesh.
- Under the supervision of the Assad regime, 11 Daesh militants were evacuated from the south of Damascus to an unknown location.
- Demonstrations in the city of Saraqeeb in Idlib have demanded the entry of the TAF into the town.
31 March 2018
- Dana, Aryha and Jisr el Shughour in Idlib were bombarded from the air.
- A headquarters belonging to Assad regime forces in Al Mayadeen, near Deir ez Zor, was allegedly bombarded from the air and 12 soldiers lost their lives.
- The negotiations between the Assad regime and opposition group Jaish al Islam failed.
- US president Trump announced that 200 million dollars of aid to SDF/YPG held territory was halted.
1 April 2018
- A ceasefire was signed between HTS and JTS (Jabhat Tahrir Suriyah) in Idlib with the mediation of Faylaq al Sham.
- The Assad regime’s airforce allegedly struck a health center in Ariha.
- Assad regime forces dispersed brochures above the opposition held areas in northern Homs calling for a settlement with the regime.
- Opposition forces in Eastern Ghouta’s Duma have allegedly accepted an evacuation deal with the Assad regime.
In the past week, political developments have trumped military developments on the Syrian battlefield. Turkey, which has shown its decisiveness about cleansing Manbij from the YPG, has criticized France after French president Emmanuel Macron accepted a SDF delegation and proposed to mediate between Turkey and the terrorist organization. The French proposal has drawn attention because it came after the recent statements by Donald Trump calling for their withdrawal from Syria. Additionally, a new border crossing from the Turkish province of Hatay has opened under the Olive Branch Operation, as Afrin has been cleansed of the YPF by the TAF and its FSA, to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian aid to Afrin more easily. In Eastern Ghouta, the evacuations under the supervision of the Assad regime continue as tens of thousands of civilians have reached Idlib. In Duma, negotiations between the Assad regime and Jaish al Islam on evacuations continue while no agreement has been reached yet. The YPG, which has suffered a great loss with Afrin, has made a new political move as they have founded the new “Future Syria Party”. In the province of Deir ez Zor, clashes between Daesh militants and Assad regime forces and its militia allies have led to a great number of casualties as clashes broke out in multiple places.