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Bulk of civilians fled Eastern Ghouta, says Russian Reconciliation center

March 20, 16:34 UTC+3

Daily five-hour humanitarian pauses have been in effect in Eastern Ghouta since February 27

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© SANA via AP

EASTERN GHOUTA /Syria/, March 20. /TASS/. The bulk of the population of Eastern Ghouta controlled by militants has left the area using the humanitarian corridors, Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin, a spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, told reporters on Tuesday.

"With the assistance of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, civilians’ exit from the Eastern Ghouta area through the humanitarian corridor’s checkpoints continues. The flow of refugees leaving Eastern Ghouta is declining. Most civilians have left the areas controlled by militants. Some groups of citizens are currently leaving (them)," he said.

According to Zolotukhin, the center now focuses on providing medical assistance, delivering hot meals and distributing survival kits among refugees at temporary accommodation facilities. "The center’s specialists have organized the distribution of hot meals and food packages at the checkpoints and refugee camps. Today, 6,000 civilians from Eastern Ghouta were provided with food. The distribution of hot meals and food packages continues," he said.

Additionally, the Russian Defense Ministry has delivered 15 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the area. The Russian military servicemen have organized its delivery to refugee camps.

Daily five-hour humanitarian pauses have been in effect in Eastern Ghouta since February 27, after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2401 calling for an end to hostilities in Syria. Militants disrupted humanitarian pauses in the first several days, shelling the corridor and holding civilians hostage. However, later on, the situation in Eastern Ghouta stabilized. On March 13, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that hostilities had ended in the city of Douma. That made it possible to ensure civilians’ exodus to the areas controlled by government troops.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday that a total of 79,702 people, mostly children, had been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta with the assistance from the Russian reconciliation center since the beginning of the operation in the area. There is no immediate threat to their lives.

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