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Russian military assists in evacuating over 100 people from Eastern Ghouta

December 29, 2017, 9:09 UTC+3

The last stage of the humanitarian mission was completed overnight into December 29

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© SANA via AP

EASTERN GHOUTA /SYRIA/, December 29. /TASS/. Officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria have assisted in evacuating 111 people from Eastern Ghouta, a TASS correspondent reported. In particular, 29 severely ill persons, those accompanying them, as well as 31 hostages were evacuated.

The third and last stage of the humanitarian mission was completed overnight into December 29. Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent evacuated severely ill people and hostages under the control of the Syrian army and officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation. The humanitarian convoy has arrived in the territory controlled by the Syrian government troops through the Mukhayyam al-Wafideen checkpoint where Russian military police units have been ensuring security. All the people evacuated from Eastern Ghouta have been taken to medical facilities in the country’s capital of Damascus.

Eastern Ghouta is included in one of the de-escalation zones established in accordance with the agreement reached by the three countries acting as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - Russia, Iran and Turkey. This particular zone is controlled by the Jaysh al-Islam armed opposition group.

The humanitarian evacuation mission was preceded by long talks between the Syrian government and the group’s leadership. Officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation played a key role in the talks as they coordinated the negotiation process and ensured the security of both sides.

Since the military campaign in Syria is over, efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict involving the Syrian government and moderate opposition, whose armed units are currently isolated in the four de-escalation zones, are taking center stage. Jaysh al-Islam is one of those armed opposition groups, which fought against both the government forces and militants from the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia).

The Russian Center for Reconciliation continues to carry out tasks set before it after the military campaign in Syria was over. Its officers regularly travel to areas liberated from militants to assess the humanitarian situation. The Center provides humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, coordinates activities aimed at rebuilding infrastructure facilities in the war-torn areas and the reintegration of former militants into peaceful life, as well as assists refugees returning to their homes and monitors the ceasefire.

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