Syrian Evacuation Convoy Reaches Idlib from E. Ghouta

Published March 24th, 2018 - 08:00 GMT
Members of the Syrian civil defence use a bulldozer to clear rubble as they search for survivors in the aftermath of an air strike in the rebel-held town of Harem in the northwestern Idlib province on Mar. 22, 2018. 
(Aaref WATAD / AFP)
Members of the Syrian civil defence use a bulldozer to clear rubble as they search for survivors in the aftermath of an air strike in the rebel-held town of Harem in the northwestern Idlib province on Mar. 22, 2018. (Aaref WATAD / AFP)

A first convoy of vehicles carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the Harasta district of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta region reached Idlib and Aleppo on Friday.

A correspondent reported that 30 buses had reached Idlib and the western countryside of Aleppo province on Friday carrying more than 1,900 people, including women and children.

One female evacuee reportedly gave birth while making the trip, while a second died due to a chronic health condition.

Evacuees will be accommodated in refugee camps set up in Idlib and Aleppo by local civil society groups.

After making the 10-hour trip, evacuees were given humanitarian supplies provided by Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).

IHH spokesman Selim Tosun said supplies included food packages, fruit, water and cleaning materials.

The evacuations come as a part of a Russia-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.


A total of 8,000 people -- including opposition fighters and their families -- are now slated for evacuation from Eastern Ghouta, a regime-besieged suburb of capital Damascus.

On Feb. 24, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a ceasefire in Syria -- especially in Eastern Ghouta -- to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the ceasefire resolution, however, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive -- backed by Russian air power -- aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,000 people have reportedly been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta.

Home to some 400,000 civilian residents, the district has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has prevented the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian supplies.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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