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Syria War: Wounded 'to be Evacuated from Eastern Ghouta' - Rebels

Last edited 13th March 2018

Syria War: Wounded 'to be Evacuated from Eastern Ghouta' - Rebels

The largest rebel group in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta region says it has agreed with the government's key ally Russia to evacuate wounded people.

Jaysh al-Islam said the evacuations would take place in stages, but it did not say when they would begin. There was no confirmation from Russia, but the UN said there had been talks.

More than 1,100 civilians have been killed and 4,000 wounded since the government stepped up its offensive on the Eastern Ghouta on 18 February.

Soldiers and allied militiamen have recaptured 60% of the enclave, which is just outside Damascus, the Syrian capital, and split it into three separate pockets in recent days.

The government's advances have displaced thousands of families, triggering what the opposition-run council in the major town of Douma called a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation.

It said existing basement bomb shelters were so overcrowded that some families were being forced to sleep out in the open, and that at least 70 people had been buried in a park because air strikes made it unsafe to reach the town's cemetery.

Meanwhile, the US said it had drafted a new UN Security Council resolution demanding a 30-day nationwide cessation of hostilities, accusing Russia of failing to ensure a ceasefire resolution passed two weeks ago was implemented.

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