Timeline of the Syrian Civil War (January–April 2018)

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The following is a timeline of the Syrian Civil War from January to April 2018. Information about aggregated casualty counts is found at Casualties of the Syrian Civil War.

January 2018[edit]

2 January[edit]

4 January[edit]

  • Russian airstrikes killed 25 civilians in Eastern Ghouta.[3]

5 January[edit]

7 January[edit]

  • The Syrian Army lifts the siege of Harasta vehicle base laid by rebels since 29 December 2017.[5]

11 January[edit]

  • The Syrian army captures 34 villages, including UmMiyal[6] after advance south of Aleppo towards the Abu al-Duhur Airbase and reach a distance of about 6 km from its forces in the eastern countryside of Idlib.[7]

20 January[edit]

22 January[edit]

27 January[edit]

  • Afrin offensive: As Turkey's Afrin intervention entered its second week, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged the US to 'immediately withdraw' its military personnel from Manbij in northern Syria, currently held by the Kurds.[13]

February 2018[edit]

3 February[edit]

5 February[edit]

6 February[edit]

  • Airstrikes on residential areas of Douma reportedly killed at least 31 civilians, according to the UN.[18]

7 February[edit]

  • Syrian Army forces have recently seized a total of 76 towns and locations from ISIL forces in Idlib Governorate, closing out an ISIL pocket of resistance.[19]
  • According to American military sources, Syrian pro-government forces initiated an offensive against US-backed SDF territory east of the Deir ez-Zor deconfliction line, near a Conoco gas field. The US-led coalition conducted strikes against the pro-government forces in support of the SDF. [20] According to one US official, more than 100 pro-government fighters were killed, while about 500 troops participated in the attack; no Americans were injured or killed during the engagement.[21][22] At a news briefing, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White claimed the US is "not looking for a conflict with the regime."[23] According to a source close to the Syrian Army, approximately 25-30 Al-Baraka tribemen were killed in the airstrikes. The Al-Baraka tribesmen are also from the Euphrates River Valley and considered locals.[24] The Russian government later admitted several dozen of its citizens died or were injured the strike.[25]

10 February[edit]

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called for international action after "one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict", mainly in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib. The UN Human Rights Office received reports indicating that at least 277 civilians were killed between 4 and 9 February – 230 in pro-government airstrikes – with a further 812 civilians injured.[18]
  • An Israeli Air Force F-16I fighter jet was shot down in northern Israel when it was hit by Syrian Air Defense. Both pilots were wounded but ejected and landed in Israeli territory. [26]
  • A Turkish Helicopter was shot down by the SDF/YPG south of Omeran village during the Afrin offensive.[27]

12 February[edit]

  • The Kurdish YPG claimed to have had shot down a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UCAV reconnaissance drone over Qodeh village in Afrin.[28]
  • An Israeli army assessment claimed that half of Syria's aerial defense systems were destroyed in the retaliatory air force sortie during the 10 February airstrikes.[29]

13 February[edit]

  • The "Defeat the Invaders" Idlib rebel alliance announced the ISIL pocket in the region had been dissolved after some 400 people (ISIS fighters, their families and wounded) gave themselves up in the village of Khuwayn.[30][31]

15 February[edit]

16 February

18 February[edit]

19 February[edit]

  • Heavy clashes erupt in the Aleppo and Idlib Governorates between the Syrian Liberation Front and Tahrir al-Sham.
  • In East Ghouta, monitors and activists reported 72 airstrikes, 97 civilian mortalities and 500 injuries in the first 24 hours of the Rif Dimashq offensive. Five hospital were reportedly struck and put out of service.[40]

20 February[edit]

  • Afrin offensive: A convoy of a pro-Syrian government militia called "Popular Forces" entered Afrin to support the YPG but was hit by Turkish artillery "warning shots", forcing the convoy to retreat.[41][42]

22 February[edit]

  • By the fifth day of the Rif Dimashq offensive (February 2018), monitors reported 38 deaths, making a total of over 300 killed in pro-government air strikes in East Ghouta.[43][44] Doctors Without Borders said at least 13 hospitals and clinics were damaged or destroyed over the previous days.[44]
  • The Syrian government assumes control of Sheikh Maqsood, Ashrafiya, Haidariya, Baaeydin and Holluk neighborhoods in North Aleppo after the YPG/YPJ garrison there deploy to Afrin.[45][46]
  • SDF fully seized Al-Bahrah town from ISIL along the Euphrates.[47][48]

23 February[edit]

  • Airstrikes and artillery attacks on the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus killed at least 46 people on Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse, bringing the six day death toll to over 400.[49] The UN was unable to reach an agreement on a ceasefire resolution, due to Russian blocking.[50][51]
  • The Kurdish YPG called on the Syrian army to intervene in Afrin, to supplement pro-government militia already there.[52]
  • Ahrar al-Sham and Suqour al-Sham rebels attack positions of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) alliance in Idlib, according to SOHR.[53]

25 February[edit]

  • Turkish President Erdogan claimed a total of 2,021 YPG militants were "neutralized" since the launch of the Afrin intervention. The Turkish government uses the term "neutralized" to refer to enemies both captured and killed. In Turn 32 Turkish soldiers have been killed and 183 others wounded since the beginning of the Afrin operation according to the Turkish Army.[54]
  • The SAA began its ground assault on East Ghouta on multiple fronts.[55]

March 2018[edit]

3 March[edit]

  • The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army and Turkish Armed Forces (TFSA/TSK) captured the town of Rajo from the YPG along with capturing Ramadiyah and Hamelika villages in the Jinderes district during the ongoing Afrin offensive.[56]

8 March[edit]

  • TFSA/TSK forces captured the town of Jindires from the YPG, giving them control of one of the largest settlements in Syria’s northwest Afrin region.[57] They also captured the villages of Shawaghat al-Juz, Maarsat al-Khatib, Hallubi Kabir and Hallubi Saghir, and the "Mafraq al Jatt" crossroads, cutting off the Nubl-Kafrjana-Afrin highway.[58][59]

9 March[edit]

  • TFSA/TSK forces seized control of the Maydanki dam and its western bank in Afrin. The dam serves as a water supply to Afrin city.[60]

11 March[edit]

  • The Syrian army captures 59% of the rebel-held eastern Ghouta pocket[61] and divides it into three separate pockets[62]

15 March[edit]

  • Tens of thousands of civilians evacuated the eastern Ghouta suburbs in one of the largest single-day exoduses of civilians since the start of the Syrian war.[63] A similar scale of displacement occurred in Afrin.[64][65]
  • There was renewed government bombing of Daraa, a "de-escalation zone".[66][67]

18 March[edit]

  • On the 58th day of the Turkish-led Afrin offensive, Afrin city is captured by TFSA/TSK forces - punctuated by Turkish and Free Syrian Army flags and banners raised above the city. De-mining operations begin as there were reports of the city being pillaged as military sites and civilian homes and businesses were looted by militants.[68][69]

28 March[edit]

  • The Syrian Arab Army prepares to attack Douma in eastern Ghouta unless the Jaysh al-Islam insurgent group agrees to hand over the area.[70]

29 March[edit]

30 March[edit]

  • Some U.S. commanders interviewed by NBC News warned that recent firings and distracting political tumult within the Trump administration could jeopardize the Special Forces mission against ISIL in Syria.[73]
  • One British and one American servicemen were killed by an IED explosion in Manbij along with five other soldiers being injured.[74]

April 2018[edit]

4 April[edit]

7 April[edit]

14 April[edit]

  • About 100 buses evacuated the last batch of rebels and civilians from Douma,[77][78] following which Russian and Syrian government forces took complete control of Douma ending the four years long Siege of Eastern Ghouta.[79][80][81]

19 April[edit]

  • The SAA and allied Palestinian militias launch an offensive to dislodge ISIL from their pocket in southern Damascus.[83]

22 April[edit]

  • As a part of an evacuation deal, rebels in East Qalamoun surrendered their weapons to the SAA in exchange for safe evacuation to rebel-held northern Syria, dissolving the rebel pocket of resistance there.[84] The government flag was raised in Jayrud two days later as the last batch of rebels evacuated, signifying government control in the former rebel enclave.[85]

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