Turkey should close Olive Branch in Syria once it has taken Tal Rifaat, but what will happen afterwards?
The Olive Branch operation at Afrin will be completed once it has Tal Rifaat under control. This was announced by the Turkish president Recep Tayyp Erdogan, during a public speech. With the conquest of the Kurdish city the troops of Ankara together with the FSA will have created a very vaste buffer area within Syria up to its border and the Kurds will be relegated in a reduced part of the territory, between Olive Branch and the area controlled by the Damascus army (SAA). It remains to be seen whether Ankara will retrieve all its forces from the country or whether, and more probably, it will leave its fixed garrisons as a guarantee. Moreover, there is no real certainty that the operations will actually end, as Erdogan had recently announced maneuvers at Manbij too.
In eastern Ghouta Damascus negotiates with Jaish al-Islam, while the SAA continues to bombard Douma. Meanwhile the evacuations towards Idlib carry on
In the meantime in eastern Ghouta the Syrian army has started bombing Douma again. This area, together with the southern quadrant, are the last two parts of the enclave where there are rebels who have not accepted the agreement with Damascus. In the north there is Jaish al-Islam, with which, however, the SAA is negotiating in these last hours. In the south, instead, the militants of the Islamic State. Daesh has acquired control over a part of Qadam and is now pointing at the west. Whereas, in the other areas civilians and militants who had endorsed the agreement continue to be evacuated. They are all transferred by bus to Idlib. This last province, however, is under air attacks by the Syrian forces and their russian allies. In particular JisrShoghur, Kafr Nabl and Muqayyar. In the meantime humanitarian workers are taking care of the people evacuated from Ghouta providing them with temporary shelters, food and water. The injured and the sick are transferred to camp hospitals in the area.