By March 19, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces, the Tiger Forces, the Republican Guard and other pro-government factions had liberated about 80% of the Damascus subrub of Eastern Ghouta.
Government forces have recently liberated the areas of Saqba and Kafr Batna from Faylaq al-Rahman and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). Thus, army troops have deployed in a strong position for an advance on the areas of Erbeen and Ain Terma.
The reported negotiations between the govrnment and militants in Douma and Harasta have resulted in no notable results so far. Some pro-government sources speculate that this may trigger further clashes in the area.
Government troops in the village of Saqba:
Meanwhile, civilians flee the militant-held part of Eastern Ghouta. The daily humanitarian pauses allow to avoid further civilian casualties and to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged areas.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on March 19 that the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey will meet in Istanbul on April 4 to discuss a settlement in Syria.
“It has been agreed that the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey will gather for a summit meeting to agree on more approaches to promoting the settlement principles that were approved by the UN Security Council and actively supported by the Astana process,” Lavrov said.