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Humanitarian pauses extended for militants’ withdrawal to Idlib de-escalation zone

March 30, 9:42 UTC+3

The Russian Reconciliation Center is negotiating the withdrawal of Jaysh al-Islam militants and members of their families from the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta

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© EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides in Syria has decided to prolong humanitarian pauses to withdraw the remaining part of the Faylaq al-Ra·man militants from Arbin to the Idlib de-escalation zone, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Friday.

"The withdrawal of the Faylaq al-Ra·man militants from the community of Arbin (Eastern Ghouta) has been carried out since March 24 this year based on the agreements reached between the heads of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides and the group’s leaders. On March 29, 7,003 militants and members of their families were taken by 129 buses through the established humanitarian corridor to the Idlib province. The Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides in Syria decided to extend humanitarian pauses to enable the remaining part of the group’s militants to withdraw to the Idlib de-escalation zone," the report says.

The militants were guarded by Syria’s police under control of the Center’s officers and representatives for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent throughout the entire route, the Russian Defense Ministry specified.

As many as 31,915 militants and members of their families have been taken from Arbin to the Idlib province since the launch of the campaign, the Defense Ministry specified.

Earlier, 4,979 militants and their family members were taken from the community of Harasta (Eastern Ghouta) to Idlib on the basis of the agreements reached between the Center and the Ahrar al-Sham leaders.

A considerable part of the Idlib province has been under control of various armed opposition groups since May 2015. Militants who decided to lay down arms under the strikes of the Syrian government forces were repeatedly taken to these territories through humanitarian corridors during the next years. So, in late 2016 about 30,000 people were taken from Aleppo to Idlib during the liberation of this city. Now, a similar operation is being conducted in Eastern Ghouta.

Civilians have crowded the streets of Syria’s city of Douma, calling on Jaysh al-Islam militants to accept the terms of the government forces and leave the city, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

"The Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides in Syria is negotiating the withdrawal of Jaysh al-Islam militants and members of their families from the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. Civilians took to the streets yesterday, calling on the militants to accept the terms of the government forces," the ministry said.

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