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Welcome to the archives of Syria Deeply. While we paused regular publication of the site on May 15, 2018, and transitioned some of our coverage to Peacebuilding Deeply, we are happy to serve as an ongoing public resource on the Syrian conflict. We hope you’ll enjoy the reporting and analysis that was produced by our dedicated community of editors contributors.

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Executive Summary for May 16th

We review the key developments in Syria, including the Syrian army retaking a district south of Damascus from ISIS, the government dropping leaflets on Daraa urging rebels to surrender and Syrian police entering a rebel enclave between Homs and Hama ahead of evacuations.

Published on May 16, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Syrian Army Recaptures District From ISIS South of Damascus

The Syrian government retook one of the last districts held by the so-called Islamic State south of the capital on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

The recapture of the Hajar al-Aswad district comes nearly a month after government forces launched an offensive targeting a pocket held by ISIS south of Damascus.

Around 221 pro-government fighters and 189 ISIS militants have been killed since fighting started on April 19, AFP said, citing the United Kingdom-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Following Tuesday’s advance, the adjoining Yarmouk Palestinian camp and the nearby al-Tadamon neighborhood are the only areas south of Damascus still under militant control.

According to the SOHR, ISIS is still in control of around 70 percent of the Yarmouk camp.

Syrian Government Drops Leaflets on Daraa Urging Rebels to Surrender

The Syrian government on Tuesday airdropped leaflets on the southern province of Daraa calling on rebels and civilians in the area to surrender to government forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

This suggests the southern province, which is protected by a U.S.-backed de-escalation zone agreement, may be the next battleground in the Syrian conflict.

Helicopters dropped leaflets in the eastern countryside of Daraa calling on rebels to hand over their weapons and reconcile with the Syrian government.

“Dropping arms and joining the local reconciliation ensures your life and stops bloodshed,” the leaflets read.

Syrian Police Enter Rebel Enclave Ahead of Final Evacuations

Syrian police entered a rebel pocket between the cities of Homs and Hama on Tuesday as the last batch of opposition fighters and their families readied to evacuate the area, the SOHR reported.

Syrian government flags were also raised on state institutions in the northern countryside of Homs and the southern countryside of Hama.

The pocket between Homs and Hama is the last besieged opposition enclave in Syria.

The government has yet to formally announce the recapture of the enclave, but a Syrian military officer told Syrian TV the government is now in control of the last rebel enclave in Homs after “overpowering terrorism.”

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