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Situation remains tense in Eastern Ghouta - reconciliation center

Illegal armed groups hinder evacuation of the population from areas under their control

MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. The situation in Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus continues to be tense, Russian center for the reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said on Friday.

"Over the last 24 hours, ceasefire violations have continued to be registered in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, and in Damascus’ suburb of Eastern Ghouta," the daily bulletin says. "The situation remains tense in Eastern Ghouta. Illegal armed groups continue to hinder evacuation of the population from the areas under their control. Many civilians need urgent medical assistance."

Over the last 24 hours, insurgents fired 33 mortars from Eastern Ghouta at Damascus’ districts and nearest populated localities in the Rif Dimashq province. There were reports about civilian casualties and damage.

The Russian reconciliation center said that measures had been taken to coerce the insurgents into halting fighting and stopping provocations.

The Russian center and Syrian law enforcement agencies have managed to get 41 militants in the Aleppo province to lay down arms and expect amnesty.

Russian military doctors provided medical treatment to 123 Syrians over the 24 hours.

Besides, a 1.5-tonne consignment of food was delivered to Kfer-Ram, Homs province, while drinking water to Marrat, Deir ez-Zor province, the center said.

Over the last 24 hours, 345 Syrians came back to their homes, among them are 325 in the Deir ez-Zor province, the daily bulletin says.

Since mid-September, four de-escalation zones have been operating in Syria. They cover the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo Provinces north of the city of Homs, Eastern Ghouta, as well as the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria.

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.