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Russia calls on militants to let civilians leave Syria's Eastern Ghouta

The necessary number of busses and emergency cars have arrived to the checkpoint to evacuate the sick and wounded

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Russia calls on militants active in Eastern Ghouta to let civilians leave the area through a humanitarian corridor, Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria Major General Yuri Yevtushenko told reporters.

He pointed out that despite the resolution declaring a 30-day ceasefire, which was adopted by the United Nations Security Council, the situation in Eastern Ghouta continued to deteriorate as militants were still holding civilians hostage and persecuting people. The Russian Center for Reconciliation, together with the Syrian authorities, decided to take urgent measures to ensure the exit of civilians from Eastern Ghouta, as well as the evacuation of the sick and wounded.

"We call on militant leaders to demine areas near the humanitarian corridor and let civilians leave Eastern Ghouta," he said.

Yevtushenko added that a humanitarian corridor had been established with the assistance of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which led to the Mukhayyam al-Wafideen settlement.

The Russian general added that starting from February 27, daily humanitarian pauses would be declared in the Duma and Arbil settlements from 09:00 to 14:00, while Syrian government forces would stop attacks against terrorists.

The humanitarian corridors

Yevtushenko said that in order to provide information to civilians, there were plans to spread leaflets telling about exit routes and rules of going through checkpoints set up by the government forces. Besides, announcements will be made through loudspeakers and SMS text messages will be sent to people’s cell phones.

The necessary number of busses and emergency cars have arrived to the checkpoint to evacuate the sick and wounded. The Damascus administration has set up hot meal points and first aid posts near the humanitarian corridor, while additional beds have been put up at local hospitals.

"In order to coordinate humanitarian activities aimed at taking civilians out of Eastern Ghouta, a command post has been established where officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation, Syrian military servicemen and members of the Damascus administration operate," Yevutshenko said. According to him, on Monday, "staff taking part in the humanitarian operation underwent a training exercise, which particularly involved motor vehicles."