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Russian observers note reduction in shelling in Eastern Ghouta

EASTERN GHOUTA /Syria/, March 6. /TASS/. Russian military observers have reported a drop in the intensity of the shelling in the humanitarian corridor in Eastern Ghouta, member of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides in Syria Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin told reporters on Tuesday.

"Despite the fact that the situation near the humanitarian corridor in Eastern Ghouta and around Damascus remains tense, a reduction in the shelling of the El-Vafedin checkpoint and neighboring areas was reported today. It may be connected with the consideration of our proposal to withdraw from the area by members of some illegal armed groups," the major general noted. Still, the shelling of the Damascus suburbs continues, he said.

"The Tishrin hospital in the community of Dahiyat al-Assad was shelled from mortars yesterday morning. The shelling was conducted from the town of Douma from the area controlled by the Jaysh al-Islam group," Zolotukhin added.

"We again call on the leaders of the illegal armed groups to stop violating the ceasefire and provide exit for civilians or leave Eastern Ghouta themselves," he concluded.

Proposals of withdrawal

On Monday, the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides in Syria expressed readiness to secure a safe exit from Eastern Ghouta for militants and members of their families if they do not want to let the civilians leave the area.

"The Reconciliation Center guarantees the inviolability of all militants who decided to leave Eastern Ghouta with personal weapons and families," the report says. According to the report, members of armed groups will be provided transport means and security along the entire traffic route.

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order, a daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 local time (from 10:00 to 15:00 Moscow time) was launched in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta starting from February 27. The first pauses were disrupted by the militants who repeatedly shelled the corridor through which civilians were to leave the area.