Hundreds gather to leave second pocket in Syria's Ghouta

by Garry Watts March 28, 2018, 0:23
Hundreds gather to leave second pocket in Syria's Ghouta

Jaish al-Islam, the powerful Islamist faction that holds Douma, had hoped that talks with Moscow would result in their staying in the town, instead of being bused out like other rebels.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, gave the group 48 hours to agree to leave or face a final assault on the town, where Syrian opposition activists say some 150,000 civilians are trapped.

Russian Federation expects to reach an agreement with a major Syrian rebel group to arrange its exit from the last rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta.

Both regime forces and opposition factions have been criticised by rights groups for indiscriminate attacks on civilians during the conflict.As part of the evacuation deals reached for Ghouta, rebels have released just 21 people, including civilians and soldiers, in recent days.

Thousands of Failaq al-Rahman fighters, accompanied by their families, are leaving their zone of eastern Ghouta in a negotiated withdrawal to insurgent territory in northern Syria.

More pull-outs were expected Monday from the towns of Arbin and Zamalka and the neighbouring district of Jobar, all held by Faylaq al-Rahman.

Almost 1,000 people - including rebels, their relatives and other civilians - were moved out on Saturday, followed by 5,435 people on Sunday.

Assad has used such evacuation agreements to recover swathes of territory since the uprising against his rule began seven years ago this month.

More than $40K raised for family of Md. school shooting victim
The officer, who resigned, said he had not been sure where the gunfire was coming from. "We did sleepovers all the time", he said. A teenage girl who was shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school has died, authorities said Friday.

The Russian military said on Monday it was close to reaching a deal with the Jaysh al-Islam, or Army of Islam, rebel group to arrange its exit.

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

With the help of Russian air strikes, the army has waged one of the most ferocious offensives of the war to recapture eastern Ghouta, killing more than 1,600 people since February 18 according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At the start of the offensive, the United Nations estimated 400,000 people were trapped inside the besieged area without access to food or medicine.

The deal also demands the rebels to set free people they have previously kidnapped.

"After Russian warplanes destroyed my city, we had nothing left here, our house was destroyed, and my father was killed by the bombing of warplanes Now we will lose my country, we will migrate like the rest of Syria".

It had been under siege by government forces since 2013 and only the town of Douma, the most populous part of eastern Ghouta, remains under rebel control.

But divisions within opposition ranks were holding up the talks with some hardliners seeking to sabotage the proposed deal, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Recommended News


TOP News

Poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal 'had secret former girlfriend in Salisbury'
We spoke for about half an hour. "He denied he was a traitor", Timoshkov said in an interview with the British broadcaster. Later, the European Union made a decision to withdraw its ambassador from Russian Federation for consultations.

Dropbox Shares Soar as Much as 48% in Market Debut
Its stock popped on its first trading day but has since fallen amid concerns about competition and its high valuation. The pricing and surge of the IPO came amid a backdrop of a volatile broader market and a pummeling of tech stocks.

'Black Panther' Is North America's Highest-Grossing Superhero Movie Ever
It is also the biggest solo superhero movie of all time worldwide, third only to the two Avengers movies ($1.5 and $1.4 billion). There is yet another milestone for the film " Black Panther .' It's now the top grossing superhero film of all time".

Two of Trump's Russian Federation probe lawyers back out
A former federal prosecutor, Joseph DiGenova, and his wife, Victoria Toensing, agreed last week to help represent the US leader. But Trump said he had "no choice" because the nation needed to fund the military. "It is just a down payment".

What are Beyoncé and Jay-Z doing in Jamaica?
The incredible visuals helped to showcase the stunning legacy of Bob Marley , as well as local Jamaican traditions. Additional second dates were also added in Washington, D.C., East Rutherford, Chicago, Atlanta , and Los Angeles.

Liquidation sale to begin at Staten Island Toys R Us
The exception, they note, is Ollie's Bargain Outlet, which typically sells at deep discounts year round. All sales will be final on purchases during the liquidation process.

Australia jeered on Day 4 post ball-tampering scandal
Bancroft, however, escaped a ban and is therefore free to play in the fourth test starting in Johannesburg on Friday if selected. That is why what Smith and, as he puts it, the " leadership group " planned seems senseless and stupid.

Smith, Warner, Bancroft sent home, Lehmann stays as coach
Questions also remain over coach Darren Lehmann and how much he knew of the conspiracy and when. Tim Paine has officially been appointed captain, at least for the fourth Test match.

United States accuses China of stealing patents in WTO complaint
The proposed product list will include items in aerospace, information and communication technology and machinery. He added, however, that while the decision represents progress, talks with the USA still need to go forward.

WVU falls to Villanova in Sweet 16
FAMILIAR POSITION: The Mountaineers have reached the Sweet 16 in eight of their last 12 NCAA appearances, including last season. It started with defense, of course - a stop here, a blocked shot there - and that translated into points on the other end.