Syria war: UN expects Eastern Ghouta civilian evacuations

March 14th, 2018

The United Nations is expecting civilian evacuations out of rebel-held Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, as the Syrian government military continues its fierce offensive on the enclave.

“This day, we are expecting evacuation of civilians, including people with medical conditions,” Ali al-Zatari, the UN’s top aid official inSyria, told Reuters news agency at al-Wafideen crossing, without elaborating.

The UN has previously called for the evacuation of nearly 1,000 sick and wounded residents who need urgent medical treatment.

Jaish al-Islam, one of the main rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta, said on Monday it had reached an agreement with the government’s key ally,Russia, to evacuate wounded people. No other details about the evacuation were given.

Hamza Birqdar, the group’s military spokesman, vowed on Tuesday that the fighters would defend the Damascus suburb till the end.

Syrian state TV showed a group of civilians leaving the enclave on Tuesday morning. The evacuations have not been independently confirmed.

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