FIRST AIRED: March 18, 2018

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00:00:00
>>
SOUND] T
ousands of Syrian civilians have fled to decisive battle zones at opposite ends of the country, both of which show how foreign backers are reshaping the eight year old conflict.
SOUND] I
Northern Syria, Turkish forces and their rebel allies swept into the town of Afran, capturing it from Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters.
00:00:18
SOUND] A
chorage says the YPG are an extension of the PKK militant group waging an insurgency inside Turkey and launched a campaign the town located near the Turkish border two months ago.>>
FOREIGN]
> Turkish president, Tayyip Erdoğan, claimed victory on Sunday saying that, quote, terrorists had fled with their tails between their legs.
00:00:41
In recent days, civilians have been pouring out of the town having previously been encircled by the advancing forces. 150,000 people have fled Turkish war planes and mortar fire, though thousands also remain. And an exodus is also taking place here. The last major rebel held territory near the capital Damascus, eastern Ghouta.
00:01:02
It's been under a ferocious Syrian army siege for the past month. And on Sunday more than 20,000 people fled. That's according to Russia, an ally to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Russian backing has helped turn the tide in the Syrian conflict and al-Assad's military has marched into much of Eastern Ghouta splitting it into three besieged zones.
00:01:23
The UN believes 400,000 people have been trapped in Ghouta with virtually no access to food and medicine. Those leaving on Sunday are amongst the first to escape, choosing to come back under Assad's rule, more than stay in what the UN has described as hell on earth.