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Over 1,800 militants leave Eastern Ghouta — Defense Ministry

March 23, 10:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

More than 1,800 militants of the Ahrar al-Sham group and their family members have left Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, since March 22

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MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. More than 1,800 militants of the Ahrar al-Sham group and their family members have left Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, since Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The agreement on the militants’ exodus from the Syrian capital’s northeastern suburb of Harasta was reached at the talks between the leadership of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria and leaders of the Ahrar al-Sham group.

"On March 22, the exodus of 1,895 militants and their family members was carried out through a humanitarian corridor. They are sent to the Idlib province by convoys of 50 buses," the ministry said.

The ministry stressed that the Syrian police ensured security of the militants during their entire route under control of officers of the Russian reconciliation center and representatives of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent humanitarian organization.

Ahrar al-Sham is one of the largest groups of armed opposition, which is mainly based in Idlib and to the northwest of Aleppo. Some 20,000 Salafi militants, who support radical Islam, are among its ranks.

The group skipped last year’s international meetings between Syrian ceasefire guarantor states (Russia, Turkey and Iran) in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, but it did not impede the establishment of de-escalation zones and honored the truce.

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