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    Jaysh al-Islam militants. File photo

    Eastern Ghouta Militants to Be Deployed to Yemen Via Saudi Arabia – Reports

    © AFP 2018 / ZEIN AL-RIFAI / ALEPPO MEDIA CENTRE
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    The Russian Defense Ministry has reported that a total of 170,152 people, including 63,117 militants and their relatives, had been evacuated from the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta during a large-scale humanitarian operation in the area.

    500 Jaysh al-Islam militants who were earlier evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, plan to go to Yemen, according to the pan-Arabic satellite television channel Al Mayadeen.

    It cited its own source as saying that the terrorists first intend to illegally arrive in Saudi Arabia, from where they will try to enter Yemen.

    On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a news briefing that the Russian Reconciliation Center along with Syrian authorities  are wrapping up a large-scale humanitarian operation in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

    READ MORE: Jaysh al-Islam Militants Call US-Led Strikes on Syria "Farce" — Reports

    "A total of 170,152 people were evacuated from the area, including 63,117 militants and members of their families," Konashenkov said.

    The relocation of Jaysh al-Islam militants from Eastern Ghouta to the northern Syrian province of Aleppo began late last week, in line with a Russia-brokered deal to release the militants' prisoners.

    The Syrian Army gained control of most of Eastern Ghouta on March 31, when it managed to lift the militants' blockade of a major highway between Damascus and the rest of the country.

    READ MORE: Jaysh al-Islam Militants Attack on Friday Syrian Forces' Positions — Russian MoD

    The liberation came after Syrian troops launched their major offensive on Eastern Ghouta in February, in a bid to do away with the militants' occupation of the area, which had been in place since 2012.

    February 27 saw the beginning of daily humanitarian pauses in Eastern Ghouta, part of efforts by Russia and the Syrian Arab Republic to help civilians withdraw from the combat zone.

    Yemen has been embroiled into a violent conflict between the government headed by ex-President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi Shia movement, also known as Ansar Allah, which is backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed in 2017.

    Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

     

    Related:

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    Jaysh al-Islam Leader Confirms Agreement on De-Escalation in Eastern Ghouta
    Jaysh al-Islam Militants Attack on Friday Syrian Forces' Positions - Russian MoD
    Tags:
    humanitarian operation, terrorists, source, militants, Jaysh al-Islam, Eastern Ghouta, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
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