Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in the Syrian Arab Republic continued its humanitarian evacuations from Eastern Ghouta this weekend.
On Saturday, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, they helped another ten people to flee opposition-controlled Duma. Among the evacuated were three children, who were immediately taken to hospital, TASS correspondent reported from the site.
The evacuated Syrians told the Russian Center for Reconciliation about starving civilians remaining in that de-escalation zone.
The armed opposition would not allow people to these safe-zone areas, which are controlled by the governmental forces, in order to keep their authorities among other groupings.
“For two years we were asking them to let us go, but the groups would not let us,” said Akra Mohammed, a mother of a child suffering from severe head trauma.
The humanitarian evacuation from Eastern Ghouta will continue, the Center’s Commander Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko told reporters. “We are working hard to evacuate others from Eastern Ghouta to medical institutions,” he said.
Eastern Ghouta is a part of a de-escalation zone, established in accordance with the agreement reached by the three countries acting as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire – Russia, Iran and Turkey. This particular zone is controlled by the Jaysh al-Islam armed opposition group.
The first humanitarian mission was completed on December 29. Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent evacuated severely ill people and hostages under the control of the Syrian army and officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation. The humanitarian convoy arrived in the territory controlled by the Syrian government troops through the Mukhayyam al-Wafideen checkpoint where Russian military police units ensured security. All the people evacuated from Eastern Ghouta were taken to medical facilities in the country’s capital of Damascus.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation continues to carry out tasks set before it after the military campaign in Syria was over. Its officers regularly travel to areas liberated from militants to assess the humanitarian situation. The Center provides humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, coordinates activities aimed at rebuilding infrastructure facilities in the war-torn areas and the reintegration of former militants into peaceful life, as well as assists refugees returning to their homes.