Smoke billows following Syrian government air strikes on the Eastern Ghouta rebel-held enclave of Douma, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on March 20, 2018. / AFP / HAMZA AL-AJWEH
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Syrian regime and allied forces battled to suppress the last pockets of resistance in and around Damascus Tuesday, while the beleaguered Kurds in the north braced for further Turkish advances.The simultaneous assaults have sparked one of the worst humanitarian emergencies since the start of the Syrian conflict seven years ago, with aid groups struggling to gain access to the masses of displaced civilians.Washington has voiced concern that the chaos in Syria could allow a revival of Daesh (ISIS), whose "caliphate" collapsed late last year after three years of international military operations.Regime and allied forces have retaken more than 80 percent of the enclave and splintered its rump into three pockets, each controlled by different rebel groups.The Turkish army and its Syrian proxies -- a motley assortment of militants, former rebels and members of other armed groups -- seized Afrin from Kurdish forces on Sunday.Turkish military police deployed across the city on Tuesday, as some civilians tried to return to homes and shops looted by Ankara's Syrian proxies.
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