Turkey is negotiating with the Syrian pro-Assad forces to enter Tal Rifaat. In theory Olive Branch should come to an end after it has taken the city
The Turkish forces in Syria are getting ready to enter Tal Rifaat. According to numerous local sources, final negotiations with the Syrian pro-Assad forces (thanks to the Russian mediation) are going on aiming at releasing the Kurdish city for the Olive Branch troops. Someone reported that the forces of Ankara and the FSA were already in the residential area, but shortly after there were several denials. Once an agreement is reached – at least according to the words of president Recep Tayyp Erdogan – the operation should be considered concluded. For a confirmation, however, an official declaration from Ankara is necessary. Damascus has also repeated its request for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal from the country. In the meantime, Turkish militaries have taken control of the military air base of Minagh, north of Tal Rifaat. Their objective is to reach the city and extend the buffer zone towards the border between the two countries at Afrin.
In eastern Ghouta the SAA is marching on Douma, thanks to the reinforcements from Harasta and the south west. However, at Qadam the standstill against Daesh continues
Meanwhile, the Syrian army (SAA) in Eastern Ghouta has launched an offensive aimed at taking Douma. During the day violent air raids have taken place on the quadrant and a column of SAA tanks from Harasta and other cities of the south west enclave are moving towards the area. In parallel, evacuations of local civilians continue through Faylaq al-Rahman. Saturday 981 persons escaped, Sunday 5.435 and Monday 6.749 according to local sources. At the moment, instead, the battle between the soldiers and Islamic State at Qadam is at a standstill. Daesh controls approximately half of the district and is not backing out. The troops of Damascus for the moment are holding the defense lines, while waiting for the availability of reinforcements to launch a massif counterattack against jihadists.