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131 civilians flee from Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday - reconciliation center

March 14, 23:04 updated at: March 14, 23:50 UTC+3

Representatives of the center for reconciliation of warring sides continue talks with leaders of armed groups about evacuation of civilians and urgent evacuation of the sick and wounded

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MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. A total of 131 civilians, including 53 children, were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, on Wednesday, said Maj Gen Yuri Yevtushenko, the chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria.

"Representatives of the center for reconciliation of warring sides continue talks with leaders of armed groups about evacuation of civilians and also urgent evacuation of the sick and wounded from Eastern Ghouta," he said.

"Yesterday, we were able to ensure evacuation of a large group of 148 civilians. Today, 131 more people have come out, including 53 children," he said.

Eyewitnesses fleeing from Eastern Ghouta, who the reconciliation center refers to, say that the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in the enclave. The population suffer from acute shortages of food, medical aid, and water and power cutoff. Those dire conditions are fanning protest sentiment against militants.

Mortars fired from Eastern Ghouta daily pound residential areas in Damascus and the outskirts, Yevtushenko said. In the past 24 hours, the Ash-Shabur district in southeastern part of the Syrian capital came under shelling. Militants fired three mortars from Eastern Ghouta. Two adults and one child were wounded.

Humanitarian missions

"The Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides continues to create conditions to normalize the humanitarian situation, provide medical treatment to the population in need and satisfy the citizens’ priority needs," the general said.

Over the past 24 hours, a 2.9-tonne batch of humanitarian aid has been delivered to the village of Darvashah, Damascus province, and the city of Hama. The aid included food, essentials and clothing. Drinking water was delivered to citizens of Mazlum, the province of Deir ez-Zor. Russian military medics provided treatment to 154 Syrians, including 64 children.

"On March 13, a humanitarian action was held at the temporary accommodation facility of Edduar where citizens from the city of Douma had arrived. Representatives of the center for reconciliation gave people food kits with rice, flour, sugar and canned meat in total weight 1.9 tons. Russian military medics provided first aid to those in need," he said.

Efforts to reconstruct damaged vital infrastructure and to get back to peaceful life in Syrian provinces have allowed people to come back to their former places of residence, he said.

"Fifteen refugees returned to their homes in the Homs province and 412 more in the Deir ez-Zor province on eastern bank of the Euphrates River," Yevtushenko said. "A total of 750 residents with personal belongings came from the Idlib de-escalation zone back to the Aleppo province along the Tel Sultan - Abu al-Duhut humanitarian corridor."

Russian reconciliation center

The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill assigned tasks after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. The center’s officers regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes and evacuation of civilians from de-escalation zones.

They are also tasked with lending humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population, coordinating work to restore the infrastructure in war-torn regions, assisting in the return of refugees and in the integration of those militants who have laid down arms into peaceful life, as well as monitoring the ceasefire.

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