Civilians Continue Leaving Syrian Eastern Ghouta - Russian Defense Ministry

© Sputnik / Muhamad MarufResidents leave the territory of Eastern Ghouta
Residents leave the territory of Eastern Ghouta - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The civilians continue leaving the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta via the humanitarian corridors, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a Saturday statement.

"The civilians continue leaving Eastern Ghouta through the humanitarian corridors with the assistance of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties," the statement said.

The ministry added that the representatives of the reconciliation center had provided about 2,600 Syrians with food and water over the past 24 hours.

In the statement, the ministry added that it was broadcasting live from the corridors' checkpoints using video cameras.

The ministry added that almost 1,000 militants had left Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta in Syria on Sunday via the humanitarian corridor near the settlement of Irbin.

"A total of 988 militants and members of their families have been evacuated to the province of Idlib in 17 buses… along their way the security is ensured by Syrian police under control of the officers from Russian center for Syrian reconciliation and representatives of Syrian Arab Red Crescent," the statement read.

According to the Russian ministry, over 108,000 people have left Eastern Ghouta since the introduction of daily humanitarian pauses in the area.

People are seen in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 9, 2018 - Sputnik International
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The evacuation was launched after an agreement had been reached as a result of negotiations between the representatives of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation and leaders of the al-Rahman Legion armed opposition group, the ministry added.

The situation in Eastern Ghouta has been tense over the past months, resulting in ongoing shelling by local militants of Damascus and fire from the Syrian pro-government forces. Damascus says it opens fire in response to shelling from Eastern Ghouta, but Western countries are accusing the Syrian government and Russia of being responsible for the escalation of tensions in the area.

READ MORE: WATCH Syrian Army Use UAVs to Liberate Parts of Eastern Ghouta

On February 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 that urges all parties to the conflict in Syria to immediately stop hostilities and adhere to a humanitarian ceasefire for at least 30 days across the whole of Syria in order to ensure the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, as well as the medical evacuation of injured people. Despite the adopted document, clashes in the area have continued.

Soon after the adoption of the resolution, Russia announced a daily five-hour humanitarian break in the fighting to prevent more casualties among the population and allow civilians leave Eastern Ghouta.

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