"Some representatives of illegal armed groups stepped up attempts to establish contacts with the Syrian government forces and the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation in order to discuss the issue of separation from the banned terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra [Jabhat Fatah al Sham]," Yevtushenko said.
"As a result of long negotiations, conducted by officers of the Center for Syrian reconciliation, an agreement on withdrawal of the first group of militants from the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone has been reached. A total of 13 Islamists left the area," Yevtushenko said, adding that the militants will head to Idlib.
The militants are said to have left Eastern Ghouta without weapons, no provocations were staged.
"The negotiating process on withdrawal of other militants with participation of the Syrian government will be continued," Yevtushenko added.
Meanwhile, militants continue to shell residents who are trying to leave the area of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, including during "humanitarian breaks," preventing civilians from leaving the area, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian reconciliation said.
A temporary corridor in the direction of Jisrein-Mlekha continues to operate for the second day, Yevtushenko said.
The necessary infrastructure elements have been deployed, first-aid brigades are on duty, a medical center, a hot food distribution point and transport for transporting civilians to safe areas are ready to operate, he added.
*Banned in Russia