Over 105,000 Syrian civilians have left Eastern Ghouta enclave, SANA says
More than 105,000 people have left the militant Eastern Ghouta enclave on the outskirts of the Syrian capital city of Damascus ever since government forces and allied fighters from popular defense groups launched a wide-scale offensive last month to purge the region of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.
A Syrian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA on Saturday that over 700 civilians, whom terrorist organizations were holding as human shields, managed to leave the area through the safe corridor at al-Wafideen Camp on Saturday.
Syria says the government’s bid to secure the departure of thousands of civilians from Eastern Ghouta despite all the desperate attempts by the terrorists to prevent them from leaving exposes the lies and hypocrisy of Western countries professing concern for the civilians.
The evacuation came a day after the last batch of Takfiri militants and their families exited the city of Harasta in the northeastern suburb of Damascus.
Syria’s state-run television network reported that the evacuation of the extremists and their families started on Thursday and ended Friday evening. A total of 59 buses transported 3,000 people, including 1,000 militants.
The Takfiris have handed over their heavy weapons to Syrian government troops before leaving Harasta towards militant-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.
As many as 7,000 militants and their family members are to leave areas of Jobar, Zamalka, Arbeen, and Ayn Tarma in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday under a government deal that covers the main terrorist groups in control of those areas, namely the Failaq al-Rahman and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.
Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus which is home to some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few days, with foreign-sponsored terrorists launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat. The Syrian army has already controlled over 80 percent of the militant-controlled territory.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian army forces and their allies have controlled 90 percent of Eastern Ghouta. The city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers (6 miles) northeast of Damascus, is the last militant bastion in the area.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.