16:02 GMT +319 June 2019
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    Russian military police members stand guard at the Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta enclave on March 13, 2018, awaiting any civilians evacuating from the area

    Some 6,400 Militants Left E Ghouta Under Transfer Deal - Russian MoD

    © AFP 2019 / Louai Beshara
    Middle East
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    The Russian Defense Ministry has reported on recent developments in the tense situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta.

    "Last night, during a search of militants, 15 suicide belts were found and seized. Eight belts for suicide bombers were confiscated eight days ago by Russian military police and Syrian police. Also, 289 grenades were confiscated from militants leaving [E Ghouta]," the report stated.

    According to the ministry of defense's report, 6,400 militants and their families have left the area through the humanitarian corridor from East Ghouta on Tuesday by buses.

    "Since March 24, as a result of the agreements reached by senior officials of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation with the leaders of the Failaq al-Rahman group, the Failaq al-Rahman militants continue to withdraw from the settlement of Irbin (Eastern Ghouta). On March 27, 6,432 militants and members of their families left the area through the organized humanitarian corridor and were transported by 102 buses to the province of Idlib," the ministry's statement read.

    READ MORE: Operation Damascus Steel: Syrian Army's Liberation of E Ghouta Almost Complete

    The ministry emphasized that throughout the route, their security was provided by Syrian police under the supervision of the officers of the Russian Reconciliation Center and representatives of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

    Speaking about the humanitarian corridor later in the day, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that ver 9,600 militants with families have left the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta under the deal.

    "As of today, 128,161 people have been evacuated, including 103, 117 civilians, 9, 670 militants and 15, 374 members of their families," the minister said at a meeting with senior military commanders in Moscow.

    A deal on the withdrawal of militants from the area was recently reached between militants and the Syrian government. After the transfer, the Syrian Army will control about 85 percent of the total territory of the initial pocket.

    The transfer comes after the Syrian army and allied ground forces launched operation Damascus Steel to liberate the East Ghouta region from hardline Islamist militants who have occupied the area since 2012. Under the deal, militants from Erbeen, Zamalka, and other areas will be transferred to the northwestern province of Idlib — one of the last remaining militant bastions in the country.

    READ MORE: WATCH Syrian Army Uncover Another Eerie Underground Terrorist Base in E Ghouta

    humanitarian corridors, militants, Eastern Ghouta, Syria
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