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Russian Defense Ministry: Situation in Eastern Ghouta remains tense

March 04, 22:22 updated at: March 04, 22:30 UTC+3

Not a single civilian has managed to leave Syria’s Eastern Ghouta via the humanitarian corridor during the sixth humanitarian pause

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Eastern Gouhta

Eastern Gouhta

© EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA

MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Not a single civilian has managed to leave Syria’s Eastern Ghouta via the humanitarian corridor during the sixth humanitarian pause, Yuri Yevtushenko, the chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, said on Sunday.

"Yet another, the sixth, humanitarian pause was observed under control of the reconciliation center from nine in the morning to 02:00 p.m. local time. However, despite all the measures we took, not a single civilian could break free from the enclave again," he said.

According to the Russian officer, all possible channels are used to inform civilians about escape routes and rules for safe movement via the humanitarian corridors. He said a checkpoint, a first aid station and a temporary accommodation camp are ready to receive people leaving the dangerous zone.

"Armed groups have blocked all roads from the district. The security corridor along the road leading to the checkpoint in the settlement of al-Wafidin and the checkpoint regularly come under gunfire by militants. Shelling doesn’t stop even during humanitarian pauses," he said.

A medical post located near the checkpoint came under mortar fire from militant positions in Eastern Ghouta’s western part of Al-Rihan. "Six mines went off at a distance from 200 to 400 meters west of the medical post. No one was hurt," Yevtushenko noted.

He said that the Russian reconciliation center continues to receive calls from people living in Eastern Ghouta, who are in bad need for food, medicines and drinking water. Moreover, people complain of militants’ atrocities.

"Illegal armed groups’ actions seeking to break down the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus and its suburbs and in entire Syria are inadmissible. We demand immediate cessation of military crimes, armed provocations. We demand safe exodus from dangerous areas be ensured for civilians," he stressed.

"Despite the tense situation in a number of Syrian regions, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties continues efforts to normalize the humanitarian situation across the country," the Russian officer said, adding that during the day 85 Syrians, including 35 children, had received first aid assistance from Russian military doctors.

"Drinking water was delivered to the settlement of Marrat in the province of Deir ez-Zor. Efforts are continued to help refugees and internally displaced persons return to their former homes," he said, adding that as many as 412 people returned during the day to their homes in the provinces of Hama, Homs, Damascus and Deir ez-Zor.

The sixth humanitarian pause started in Eastern Ghouta at 09:00 local time (19:00 Moscow time) on Sunday. Militants continue to keep locals residents as a human shield, not letting them cross the humanitarian corridor. Only two children have managed to break free from the area. On Saturday, militants conducted sniper fire at the humanitarian corridor, wounding three civilians.

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