Syria war: Jaish al-Islam to evacuate n of Eastern Ghouta fighters

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since Syria's government launched a brutal offensive on the rebel-controlled Eastern Ghouta enclave almost three weeks ago, a war monitor said on Saturday (March 10).

The Syrian army has also advanced into the area between the two large towns of Harasta and Douma, they added.

A Syrian soldier secures aid convoy after its return from eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria March 9, 2018.

For the first time since Monday, food supplies got into the town of Douma, the Red Cross said.

Any solution to the crisis will probably involve a partial evacuation of rebel fighters and perhaps civilians, in a deal similar to past surrender agreements between the government and rebels.

Airstrikes continued Tuesday. The opposition's Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group reported at least nine people were killed in airstrikes on the town of Jisreen.

An aid convoy that failed to deliver humanitarian supplies to Syria's besieged eastern Ghouta last week due to violence delivered "urgently needed" aid on Friday despite fighting, which took place extremely close to the convoy, the Red Cross said.

The Syrian government has stepped up efforts in retake the rebel-held enclave in recent weeks, leading to more than 900 reported civilian deaths.

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According to Syrian state media, 13 fighters were evacuated with their families through the al-Wafeedin passage and bussed to Idlib province.

Takfiri groups in eastern Ghouta deny this, but eyewitnesses on Friday saw gunfire and mortar fire from inside the rebel territory near one of the crossing points.

The assault has followed a divide-and-conquer strategy, eating away at rebel-held territory, and government forces on Saturday successfully isolated Ghouta's main town of Douma in a blow for the beleaguered rebels.

Eastern Ghouta, which lies just east of Damascus, is home to some 400,000 civilians and is controlled by myriad armed groups.

"The regime has cut Ghouta into three parts by cutting the main roads linking them", said the Observatory's chief Rami Abdurrahman.

The channel has been reporting since last week that rebels have prevented civilians from leaving.

The Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations stated that the JIM's report was based mostly on assumptions and the selective use of facts.

In January, Turkey began an offensive to oust the Kurdish YPG militia from the Afrin region in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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