Rif Dimashq Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the violent clashes have been still continuing since after the midnight of Sunday – Monday, between the regime forces backed by armed militiamen loyal to them of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities against the Islamic factions, where the violent clashes are concentrated in the areas of Harasta and Arbin, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the regime forces led by Suhail Al-Hassan and under the command of Russian officers and advisers, managed to achieve new advancement in Harasta area and encircle it completely, thus, they effectually separated it, and this advancement enabled them to separate Douma as well, the SOHR also monitored that the regime forces managed to achieve another advancement in the area between Madyara and Arbin, and with this new advancement, the regime forces became in control of 59% of the total area of the Eastern Ghouta, after start of their attack on the 27th of February 2018, while the intensive rocket shelling on areas in Arbin city has been continuing since yesterday after the midnight, and the regime forces also shelled places in Saqba today morning, which resulted in the fall of 7 wounded, and the regime forces also targeted places in Jisrayn town by tens of shells.
In the same context, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the number of casualties has increased as a result of the death of more citizens, due to the daily renewed bombardment on the Eastern Ghouta, which witnesses attacks by the regime forces in order to end the presence of the factions in the area and impose their full control over it, backed by a cover of intensive and violent shelling, which destroyed the infrastructure in the cities and towns of the Eastern Ghouta, and left thousands of casualties and wounded, where it has increased to 14 including 2 citizen women, the number of people killed in bombardment by warplanes on areas in Arbin city controlled by Al-Rahman Corps, raising to 1144, the number of the Syrian civilians whose death was documented by the Syrian Observatory in the Eastern Ghouta, including 240 children and 162 women, who have been killed in 22 days by the aerial, rocket and artillery shelling on the cities and towns of Douma, Harasta, Arbin, Zamalka, Hamouriyah, Jesrin, Kafr Batna, Hazza, Ash’ari, Nashabiyah, Aftries, Otaya, Al-Shifonyyah, Al-Marj area, Mesraba, Madyara, Beit Sawa, and other areas in the besieged Ghouta of Damascus, resulted in the injury of more than 4400 citizens including hundreds of children and citizen women with varying severity, some of them have permanent disabilities, while the bodies of tens of citizens are still under the rubble of destruction caused by the aerial, rocket and artillery shelling by the regime forces on the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, and the total death toll documented by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, includes 612 casualties including 99 children and 79 women who were killed and documented by the SOHR after the resolution of the UNSC, which failed again to stop the killing of the people of the Eastern Ghouta, and the shelling resulted in the fall of hundreds of wounded, where the number of casualties may increase because of the presence of serious injuries, amid the tragic humanitarian situation of the people of Ghouta, who intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that they do not leave the shelters for fear of the intensive shelling, amid inability of the medical staff to relieve all medical cases.
The Turkish forces and the opposition factions impose their control over about 60% of Afrin area and try to clamp down on the city through their advancement backed by an intensive fire cover
The Turkish forces are continuing to clamp down on Afrin city, through advancing into more than an area to reach Afrin city from all sides and clamp down on it even more, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the Turkish forces backed by their allied rebel and Islamic factions, managed to control more than 60% of the total geographical area of Afrin until now, and managed to reach the outskirts of the city from both northern and eastern sides, while they became at a distance of about 4 km away from the south-west of the city, in conjunction with their advancement in the villages in the north-western countryside of Afrin and their control over more of them, and the townships of Bulbula, Jendires and Maabatli, witnessed renewed shelling by the Turkish artillery, today morning the 12th of March 2018, in conjunction with the Turkish warplanes’ bombardment on the area.
And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored last night that fears have increased over the lives of civilians with the escalation of the Turkish attack accompanied by the missiles of warplanes and helicopters, as well as the shells of their artilleries and rocket launchers, which do not almost stop to destroy Afrin, and the areas that are still under the control of the Kurdish forces, and this fear of shelling, was accompanied by another fear expressed among hundreds of thousands of citizens who are still in the YPG-held areas, of the videos which the SOHR obtained a copy of them, and which show fighters of Operation “Olive Branch” threatening the inhabitants of Afrin, directing their message through one of the fighters who said “to the Kurdish infidels, we inform you that if you turn to God in repentance, you have to know that you are our brothers, but if you do not, then we see your heads have been ripe and we have come to pick them up”, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights mentioned that the video is likely to be filmed in the Sheikh Hadid area in the western countryside of Afrin, from one of the villages controlled by Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the death of 418 including 71 soldiers of the Turkish forces, the number of the members and fighters of the Turkish forces and the factions who were killed in the clashes against the Kurdish Units in Afrin area, while it rose to 391, the number of fighters of the YPG and the Self-Defense forces who were killed in the shelling and clashes in Afrin countryside, since the start of Operation “Olive Branch”, while 81 members at least of regime forces’ NDF were killed in the Turkish shelling since they started to enter on the 20th of February 2018.
Also the area of Afrin located in the north-western section of Aleppo province, is still witnessing continuation of the interruption of water and electricity, after the Turkish forces tended to cut them off after they were able to control a strategic facility, which is Midanki Dam, a Dam that provides wide areas of Afrin with electricity and water, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that aerial bombardment operations, violent ground clashes and tragic humanitarian conditions are worsening every day, with the Turkish attack narrowing the cycle of death, after more than 1 million persons have gathered in Afrin city and in villages around it, fleeing a death they fear that it may chase them to the place of their displacement, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the Turkish Forces being able to control a strategic facility, which is Midanki Dam, a Dam that provides wide areas of Afrin with electricity and water, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the Turkish Forces have cut off the power of Midanki Dam, aka “17 Nisan”, and also cut off the water which added a new human tragedy to the dire humanitarian conditions of hundreds of thousands of people living in Afrin, amid Turkish killing for the inhabitants of the area and the people who displaced to it, following Turkish aerial and ground targeting for telecommunication towers and the cut off of communications in most of Afrin area.