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30,000 civilians evacuate from Eastern Ghouta

Published : 17 Mar 2018, 23:35

Updated : 17 Mar 2018, 23:38

  DF-Xinhua Report
Syrians leave Hamouriyeh area in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, Syria, on March 17, 2018. As many as 30,000 civilians evacuated from rebel-held areas in the Syrian capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta area on Saturday, state news agency SANA reported. Photo Xinhua by Ammar Safarjalani.

As many as 30,000 civilians evacuated from rebel-held areas in the Syrian capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta area on Saturday, state news agency SANA reported.

The mass evacuation took place through two crossings, one in the Hamouriyeh area and the other near the Water Resources facility in Harasta area in Eastern Ghouta.

The evacuation is ongoing and is the latest in a series of mass evacuation as the people have fled rebel-held areas in Eastern Ghouta in droves since Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that 50,000 civilians have evacuated Eastern Ghouta over the past 72 hours.

Such process was possible due to the advance of the Syrian army inside Eastern Ghouta, as people said the rebels have prevented them from leaving before and the progress of the army opened this road for them.

The Syrian army said recently it had captured 70 percent of Eastern Ghouta, after splitting that area into sections to facilitate the battle against various rebel groups there.

Eastern Ghouta, a 105-square-km agricultural region consisting of several towns and farmlands, poses the last threat to the capital due to its proximity to government-controlled neighborhoods east of Damascus and ongoing mortar attacks that target residential areas in the capital, pushing people over the edge.

Four major rebel groups are currently positioned inside Eastern Ghouta, namely the Islam Army, Failaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Levant Liberation Committee, known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

The UN humanitarian agencies have sounded the alarm about the worsening humanitarian situation for 400,000 people in that region, where activists said around 1,000 people have been killed since late last month by the heavy bombardment and military showdown.