Sputnik has spoken with a fighter from the al-Rahman Legion militant group from Eastern Ghouta, who joined the Syrian army after it had begun to liberate the area.
“The leaders of al-Rahman Legion oppressed and starved us a lot. They made us fight for them otherwise they would deprive us of food and water. We were oppressed as much as the other Eastern Ghouta residents. When the Syrian army approached, we joined it as the truth is with them,” he told Sputnik Arabic.
“Together with Syrian soldiers I am fighting for Eastern Ghouta and the whole Syrian land to be free from terrorist filth. The fighters forced hundreds of people like me to fight for them,” the man said.
“The leaders of the group were instructed from abroad to starve and torture local people. The orders were followed automatically. It was impossible to deceive the commanders,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that almost 5,300 militants and their families had left the settlement of Irbin in Eastern Ghouta and had been transported to the Idlib province.
This came after on Wednesday, locals, including women and the wounded, reportedly urged the militants to accept the government’s truce or evacuation conditions so that the city would be spared the consequences of a military operation by the government forces.
The militants have been given some time to consider the conditions. They should make their decision by the time the last members of al-Rahman Legion armed opposition group leave Eastern Ghouta. The latter group has reached an agreement on evacuation as a result of negotiations between the representatives of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation and leaders of the group.