13:03 GMT +323 July 2018
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    Syrian rebels and civilians look through a bus window as they leave Harasta in eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 23, 2018

    Syrian Military: Insurgents to Be Forced to Free All Hostages in Ghouta

    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
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    Syrian military and strategic expert Reda Ahmed Shreiqi told Sputnik that insurgents can exit Douma, a city in Eastern Ghouta, only after they hand all hostages over to the Syrian army.

    "The main condition laid down for the insurgents is to hand over absolutely all hostages. There is every reason to fear for the lives of innocent people, because Israeli aircraft have made several provocations over the last 72 hours. It is quite possible that they will continue," Reda Ahmed Shreiqi said.

    After Eastern Ghouta is completely liberated “the army will concentrate its efforts on Eastern Qalamoun and the southern suburbs of the capital. Damascus should be perfectly safe, that is where the Syrian political and military authorities are.”

    According to the expert what is even more serious are the actions on the part of Ankara, which has long tried to pursue its own agenda in Syria. “We should interact with Turkey only from a position of strength and contain to the utmost its ambitions in Syria.  We should also particularly handle the situation with the Kurds, who receive assistance and protection from the US. Syrian politicians should solve these matters with maximum responsibility and caution,” the expert said.

    Last night the first buses carrying Jaysh al-Islam insurgents and their families left Eastern Ghouta via the Muhayam al-Wafedin checkpoint, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated. It is noted that a total of up to eight thousand insurgents and about 40 thousand of their family members are planned to be evacuated from Douma.

    A live broadcast from the Muhayam al-Wafedin checkpoint (northern part of Eastern Ghouta) is available on the Russian Defense Ministry’s official website.

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    Tags:
    evacuation, insurgency, militants, Jaysh al-Islam, Syrian Army, Reda Ahmed Shreiqi, Eastern Ghouta, Syria
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