Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Seriously injured people to be evacuated from Douma

Syrian official news agency SANA shows Syrian government forces overseeing the evacuation of Army of Islam fighters and their families in buses from the besieged town of Douma just east of Damascus Syria Monday Seriously injured people to be evacuated from Douma
Gerardo Duncan | 05 April, 2018, 01:49

Separately, in Duma, one of the biggest districts in Eastern Ghouta, 89 injured and sick people were also evacuated.

A rebel faction trapped by government forces outside the Syrian capital agreed to evacuate to northern Syria on Sunday as reports swirled of a larger agreement that would have the government retake full control of the eastern Ghouta region after seven years of revolt.

Syrian government forces backed by Russian Federation have recaptured almost all of eastern Ghouta, which was the last major rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, in a ferocious assault that began in February, marking a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad. Evacuations should be voluntary but in some cases might not have been, he added.

Earlier, Russian reconciliation center for Syria said that a total of 153,140 people have been evacuated from the area of Eastern Ghouta since the introduction of humanitarian pauses on February 28.

The Syrian army launched a massive operation last late in February on the rebels in Eastern Ghouta and secured the evacuation of 150,000 civilians who were hosted in government-run shelters until the situation settles in their areas in Eastern Ghouta for their return.

Hamza Berakdar, spokesperson for Jaish al-Islam, said on Saturday that the armed opposition in Douma refused to leave in what he called a forced displacement.

There was no immediate comment on Monday from the rebels themselves. -Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of the Syrian warring parties, said the fighters are to hand over maps of mined areas and underground tunnels while leaving Douma, as well as clear major transport routes of barricades.

The government's initial statements reported two buses, and then four buses, leaving the rebels' last stronghold in the area.

The fighters were expected to head to Jarablus, a town in northern Syria shared by rebels and Turkish forces.

The evacuations are part of a Russian-brokered agreement between Syria's Assad regime and armed opposition groups. They included fighters from the Faylaq al-Rahman and Ahrar al-Sham rebel groups, their families and other residents.

The announcement comes after tens of thousands of rebels and civilians are bussed out under a deal sponsored by Iran, Russia and Turkey.

The most recent Syrian air and ground offensive on eastern Ghouta, supported by Russia's military, has killed at least 1,600 people, according to the Observatory.

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