On March 16, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces, the Republican Guard and their allies continued their advance in the Damascus subrub of Eastern Ghouta. Government troops engaged militants in the villages of Saqba and Jisreen and started working to consolidate their gains in Rayhan.
Pro-government sources speculated that militants had already started withdrawing from Saqba. Nonetheless, these reports have not been confirmed yet.
On March 15, Rayhan reportedly came under a full control of the SAA. However, that area still had to be secured. On the same day, government troops liberated the village of Hamuriyah and reportedly evacuated about 12,500 civilians from the area.
Meanwhile, reports are circulating that the SAA and Jaish al-Islam have reached a preliminary reconciliation agreement in the Douma area of Eastern Ghouta. According to the available information, under the agreement, Jaish al-Islam members will hand over all their heavy weapons to the SAA, will release prisoners and will allow SAA units to enter the area.
— 24 Resistance Axis (@Syria_Hezb_Iran) 15 March 2018
Jaish al-Islam members will be able to withdraw from the area or to settle their legal status. The SAA will also start providing additional humanitarian aid to the area.
If the SAA and Jaish al-Islam start impleneting the reported agreement, government forces will be able to focus on combating Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Rahman in the rest of the militant-held area.