More than 6,200 militants and their families left Syria’s Eastern Ghouta via a humanitarian corridor on Friday and were transported to the Idlib province by buses, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.
“Via a humanitarian corridor, 6,276 militants and members of their families were transported by 141 buses to the province of Idlib on March 30,” the statement read.
The ministry noted that Failaq al-Rahman militants continued to leave the settlement of Irbin in Eastern Ghouta as a result of the agreements reached by senior officials of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation with the group’s leaders.
The total number of militants and their families, who have left Irbin since the relevant agreement has been in place, has reached 38,191.
The ministry also announced the decision to prolong the regime of humanitarian pauses to let the rest of the Failaq al-Rahman militants leave Eastern Ghouta.
The ministry further noted that over 150,000 people had left Eastern Ghouta since the launch of daily humanitarian pauses in late February organized by the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation.
“Overall since the launch of the humanitarian pauses in Eastern Ghouta the evacuation of over 150,000 people has been organized with the help of Russian center [for Syrian reconciliation],” the statement read.
The ministry added that the civilians continued to return to the settlements liberated from militants with Russian military delivering humanitarian and medical aid.
The situation in Eastern Ghouta has been tense over the past months, resulting in ongoing shelling by militants of Damascus and fire from the Syrian pro-government forces.
The Syrian government says it opens fire in response to shelling from Eastern Ghouta, but Western countries are accusing the Syrian government and Russia of being responsible for the intensification of tensions in the area.
On February 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 that urges all parties to the conflict in Syria to immediately stop fighting and adhere to a humanitarian pause for at least 30 days across the whole of Syria.