Over 121000 Syrian leave Eastern Ghouta since declaration of humanitarian pauses

UN Gathers 'Unprecedented' Amount of Data in Syria War Crime Probe

In previous evacuations about 6,000 people have already left the towns of Harasta, which was controlled by the Ahrar al-Sham rebel group, as well as Irbin, Zamalka, Jobar and the district of Ain Tarma, which were controlled by the Faylaq ar-Rahman rebel group.

Talks with the Russians will resume within three days, it said.

The source said Moscow urged them to follow the example of Faylaq al-Rahman, another Islamist faction that agreed last week to withdraw from its zone in Ghouta after enormous military pressure. It put the total figure of civilians and rebels evacuated from the area since the Russia-sponsored "humanitarian pauses" were announced at 114,000 people.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels were divided on a deal with Moscow.

Separately, Army of Islam spokesman Hamza Bayraqdar has accused the Faylaq al-Rahman rebels of helping government forces make inroads in the enclave after they dried out artificial swamps set up by the rebel fighters to slow down the Syrian forces' advance.

President Bashar al-Assad has used such agreements to recover swathes of territory since the uprising against him began seven years ago this month.

Russian Federation and the Assad regime it supports reportedly threatened to resume their blistering bombardment if the last holdout pocket that includes the main Ghouta town of Douma does not agree to a similar deal.




Residents of the enclave have been in dire need of food and medicine, especially since the latest offensive began, which has exacerbated Eastern Ghouta's humanitarian crisis.

Under the second deal, opposition fighters from Faylaq al-Rahman are being given safe passage to the northwest, along with thousands of civilians, in exchange for releasing prisoners they were holding.

Eastern Ghouta, a 105-square-km agricultural region consisting of several towns and farmlands, poses the last threat to the capital due to its proximity to government-controlled neighborhoods east of Damascus and ongoing mortar attacks that target residential areas in the capital, pushing people over the edge.

Eight were freed on Sunday and another 26 the following day, SANA said.

Some 200,000 people are estimated to remain in Douma, including many who fled other parts of Ghouta as regime forces advanced.

It would also provide for the deployment of Russian military police and the return of regime institutions and basic services like water and electricity.

Al-Watan, a newspaper close to the Syrian government, reported Tuesday that military forces were already amassing around Douma.

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