News ID: 211624
Published: 0325 GMT March 13, 2018

Civilians start leaving Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Civilians start leaving Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Sick and injured civilians left a terrorist-held enclave in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday under the first medical evacuation since fierce fighting began nearly a month ago.

Women carrying infants, men hobbling on crutches and an old man in a wheelchair waited at a school nearby, along with dozens who exited through the al-Wafideen crossing, a witness said, Reuters wrote.

Terror groups active inside the enclave, particularly the so-called Jaish al-Islam Takfiri outfit and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, have prevented civilians from leaving the enclave.

Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus with some 400,000 people, has been the scene of clashes between government forces and terrorists since February 18.

Syrian government forces have captured swathes of Eastern Ghouta, a pocket of satellite towns and farmland, splintering it into three separate zones in recent days.

Yasser Delwan, a political official with the Jaish al-Islam terror group said the patients who left the town of Douma were the first of several batches.

The evacuees come from a list of nearly 1,000 people which UN officials have said need emergency treatment outside, he added. The terror group said on Monday it had reached a medical evacuation deal with Russia after indirect talks.

Russia has offered militants safe passage out with their families if they surrender the territory.

State media said others followed the first group which included about 35 people. They would go to a shelter nearby on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus.

State TV accompanied some of the evacuees and broadcast interviews in which they said terrorists had prevented them from leaving.

“We weren’t able to come out,” one man said. “They are not allowing anyone at all, they attack them and sent them back.”


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