"Today [Friday] militants made an attempt to disrupt the withdrawal of civilians from the village of Hamoryah. Several snipers opened fire at the leaving people. The measures were taken to eliminate the snipers, the withdrawal of civilians resumed," the center said.
The Russian center for Syrian reconciliation is negotiating with militants the issue of evacuation residents of the Arbil settlement, who have also expressed their desire to leave the area.
According to the data, provided by the center, over 14,500 civilians have left Syria’s Eastern Ghouta since the introduction of daily humanitarian pauses in the area in late February.
"The evacuation of civilians from the settlements of Hamoryah, Sakba and Hazze, through a humanitarian corridor continues. Since the morning of March 16, 3,326 people have left these areas, mostly old people, women and children. Since the introduction of the humanitarian pauses in Eastern Ghouta, a total of 14,500 people have left the area," the statement said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the US-led coalition the day before to stop supporting terrorists in Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta, adding that Moscow would make "humanitarian exceptions," meaning that those who wanted to exit the combat area and receive humanitarian aid can use the humanitarian corridors.
Despite the establishment of a safe zone in the region and the 30-day truce operating across the country in accordance with the UNSC resolution, tensions in the Damascus suburb continue to mount. The Syrian government forces started military operations in the region in a bid to clear the area of militants. The truce, stipulated by the resolution, do not apply to anti-terrorist operations.
Militants continue to shell Damascus, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying last month that terrorists in Eastern Ghouta had been shelling Damascus around 50-80 times a day, including the region of Russia’s embassy.
At the same time, earlier this month, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation reported that Syrian terrorists were preparing provocations involving chemical warfare agents in Eastern Ghouta, which would be used by western states as a pretext for accusing Damascus of the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilian population.