21:43 GMT +322 April 2018
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    Lights and smoke are seen during Syrian government bombardment on the rebel-controlled town of Arbin, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on late March 11, 2018

    Almost 6,500 Militants Leave Syria's Irbin in Past 2 Days - Russian MoD

    © AFP 2018 / Ammar SULEIMAN
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Nearly 6,500 militants have left the Syrian town of Irbin in the past two days, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

    "Over the past two days, 6,441 militants with their families were relocated from the settlement of Irbin to the Idlib province," the ministry's statement read.

    According to the ministry, 4,979 militants and members of their families were relocated from Harasta in Eastern Ghouta to the Idlib province on Sunday as a result of the agreements reached by the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation with the leaders of the Ahrar al-Sham group.

    The ministry added that 5,453 militants and their families had been transported on Sunday to the Idlib province by 81 buses. The safety of the route was ensured by the Syrian police under the supervision of the officers of the Russian reconciliation center and representatives of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

    The ministry then specified that almost 114,000 people have left Damascus' suburb of Eastern Ghouta since the beginning of humanitarian pauses.

    “On March 25, more than 1,092 civilians left the town of Duma [in Eastern Ghouta] though the Muhayam Al-Wafedin humanitarian corridor. A total of 113,715 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta with the assistance of the Russian reconciliation center since the beginning of humanitarian pauses,” the press release read.

    READ MORE: Syrian Army Reportedly Gives Jaish al-Islam Last Chance to Exit Area in E Ghouta

    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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    militants, Eastern Ghouta, Syria
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