Monday, March 12, 2018

Regime Gains in Damascus, Syria: March 6 - 12, 2018

By Christopher Kozak

Pro-Bashar al-Assad regime forces including Russia and Iran successfully split the besieged Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus into three separate opposition-held pockets following the seizure of Mesraba and Madyara on March 10 – 11. The advance separated the city of Douma – the urban stronghold of Salafi-Jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam – from the densely populated suburbs of Irbeen, Zamalka, and Ayn Terma dominated by Islamist group Faylaq al-Rahman. Pro-regime forces will further intensify their targeting of civilian populations and infrastructure within these new pockets in order to coerce their surrender and achieve the forced displacement of opposition-supportive populations from Damascus.