1st Humanitarian Convoy Arrives in East Ghouta Deescalation Zone

© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarRussian and Syrian soldiers stand next to an aid convoy in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016
Russian and Syrian soldiers stand next to an aid convoy in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 - Sputnik International
The first humanitarian aid convoy from Russia delivered to the Eastern Ghouta neighborhood in Damascus suburbs, according to the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation.

A woman walks past damaged buildings in the rebel held besieged city of Douma, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria - Sputnik International
Russian Military Denies Reports of Airstrike in Syria's East Ghouta Safe Zone
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The first humanitarian aid convoy delivered on Tuesday over 10 metric tons of food and medical supplies to the Eastern Ghouta neighborhood in Damascus suburbs, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said.

The center also organized the evacuation of the wounded and sick residents from the areas controlled by the armed Syrian opposition.

"The delivery of humanitarian aid was made possible by the deployment of checkpoints manned by the Russian military police, which stabilized the situation in the deescalation zones, and allowed for opening the humanitarian corridors" the center said in a statement.

On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said agreements on the operation of the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone had been signed following Egypt-mediated talks in Cairo between representatives of the ministry and the Syrian opposition. Syrian armed opposition group Jaysh al-Islam has confirmed the agreement, which envisages a full ceasefire in the region. The Eastern Ghouta safe zone deal came into force on Monday.

Syria’s Ambassador to China and former Ambassador to the United States Imad Moustapha, noted the role of the Eastern Ghouta deescalation zone in stabilization of the situation in the region.

"Naturally, the deescalation zone will help lower-down the intensity of the conflict and bring some necessary relief to the civilians held as hostages by the various armed groups," Moustapha told Sputnik.

Buildings destroyed in the course of military operations in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus suburbs - Sputnik International
Russian, Syrian Military Go on Patrol at Joint Checkpoint in Eastern Ghouta
In a comment to Sputnik the ambassador added that "some of the most ferocious fighting and killing" that occurred in Ghouta in the last two months was between the groups supported by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, rather than the Syrian government forces and armed groups.

Four safe zones have been established in Syria so far. The first one, in the north of the country, covers the province of Idlib and neighboring districts of Latakia, Aleppo and Homs. The second is in the north of the province of Homs. The third is located in the south of Syria, in the Quneitra and Daraa provinces, while the fourth one is in the Eastern Ghouta.

The four zones are expected to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, help prevent future clashes and restore economic activity. The memorandum on the establishment of the four zones came in force on May 6.

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