SYRIAN WAR REPORT – MARCH 16, 2018: ARMY EVACUATED OVER 12,500 CIVILIANS FROM EASTERN GHOUTA

South Front

On March 15, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies liberated the village of Hamuriyah in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta from members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and Faylaq al-Rahman.

The liberation of Hamuriyah allowed the SAA to open a new humanitarian corridor there. Over 12,500 civilians were evacuated from Hamuriyah and nearby areas.

Additionally, the SAA once again re-established control over the village of al-Rayhanah east of the town of Douma controlled by Jaish al-Islam.

On March 16, the SAA advanced on the village of Saqba and launched another attempt to establish control over the village of Jisreen.

On March 15 and March 16, the Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army captured over 20 villages from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in the area of Afrin. The TAF and the FSA are working to capture the remaining YPG-held area north and northeast of the city. However, the southern road out of Afrin remains open.

A U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter reportedly crashed in the western Iraqi province of Anbar on March 15. According to media reports, the helicopter was carrying seven persons on board. All of them reportedly died. The U.S. Central Command officially confirmed the incident but provided no details about the helicopter type and the alleged casualties. The investigation is ongoing.

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