Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Over 13000 rebels, families leave Syria's Eastern Ghouta in 3 days

Syrian Army, Aided By Russia, Regains Control Over Most Of Damascus Suburb UN under fire for giving Russia coordinates of Syrian hospitals in 'high-risk' strategy to stop attacks
Derrick Tucker | 28 March, 2018, 01:11

Douma is the only town on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital still held by rebels, after government forces captured all other opposition areas they had besieged for years.

Government troops, backed by Russian Federation and loyalist militia, launched a ferocious assault more than a month ago to retake the enclave on the outskirts of of Damascus. Plus, we look at the doctors on the front lines of the war on gun violence; the response from the people of Sacramento to the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, who was unarmed; the expulsion of Russian diplomats from over 20 countries; and the disparity in healthcare that women of color face. At least 1,600 civilians have died in the carnage, and 5,000 more have been wounded, according to the United Kingdom -based observatory, which gathers information from a network of activists on the ground.

The agreement with Faylaq al-Rahman was announced on Friday and its implementation started the following morning.

Both regime forces and opposition factions have been criticised by rights groups for indiscriminate attacks on civilians during the conflict.As part of the evacuation deals reached for Ghouta, rebels have released just 21 people, including civilians and soldiers, in recent days.

The Britain-based monitor said it had also documented the detention of more than 40 men and boys by Syrian troops in recaptured areas.

Some 110,000 people have fled into government-held territory, majority on foot or motorbike, through corridors opened up by the army and its Russian allies, according to state media.

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SANA said that the militants of the Islam Army, the major rebel group in control of Douma, are ready to lay down their weapons and withdraw from that area.

The town is the home to tens of thousands of people, including many who were displaced over the past weeks of heavy fighting.

Ahmad travelled all the way from the coastal city of Tartus in the hope of seeing her father and brother, after they were detained by rebels more than four years ago.Last month, Russia-backed regime forces launched a blistering assault on Harasta and the wider area of Eastern Ghouta, retaking large parts of it and forcing rebels into evacuation deals.

Under the second deal, opposition fighters from Faylaq al-Rahman are being given safe passage to the northwest, along with thousands of civilians, in exchange for releasing prisoners they were holding.

Syria's pro-government Al-Watan daily reported similar terms and said the parties had three days to study the offer. "This sped up the regime's advance".

It would also provide for the deployment of Russian military police and the return of regime institutions and basic services like water and electricity.

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