Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Delegation from Syria rebel enclave mulls evacuation deal

Delegation from Syria rebel enclave mulls evacuation deal

The government onslaught of Eastern Ghouta began on February 18 with a ferocious air campaign followed by a ground operation that has recaptured almost 60 percent of rebel territory. But Faylaq al-Rahman, one of the two main rebel groups in the region, issued a statement rejecting the prospect of an exit, the AP said.

Nikki Haley said that since the Security Council adopted a resolution 15 days ago demanding a cease-fire throughout Syria without delay there have been three allegations of chlorine gas attacks during a stepped up military campaign against rebels.

Eastern Ghouta has been besieged for years after many of its residents joined the initial protests against Assad's rule in 2011 that triggered the slide into civil war.

But no deal has been reached until now, the Observatory said.

The UN says more than 1,000 critically ill and wounded people, a lot of them women and children, are in urgent need of medical evacuation from the Eastern Ghouta.

"Despite provocations staged by terrorists, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, supported by the Syrian government, continues the humanitarian operation in Eastern Ghouta". The government has made huge territorial gains since Russian Federation joined the fighting on the side of Assad in 2015.

Antonio Guterres said Monday that the eastern Ghouta enclave is "now split into three separate pockets".

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According to activists in Eastern Ghouta, the families under siege in Harasta include locals as well as hundreds of internally displaced families who were forced to leave their homes in the towns of Mudeira and Misraba as government forces captured those areas over the weekend.

He says Turkish troops have destroyed water and power stations that supply the town of Afrin, making it hard for people to stay.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the Russian forces in Hmeimim have foiled the attack, which wasn't the first one against that base, the largest Russian-run facility in Syria. He blamed Russian Federation and Turkey for what he called "war crimes that are being committed in Afrin".

Turkish troops and allied rebels are closing in on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria after weeks of battling the Kurdish YPG militia on the edges of the district, Reuters reported on Saturday.

It says the wounded will be evacuated in stages but makes no mention if they are rebel fighters or civilians. Ankara considers the YPG a terror organization linked to its own Kurdish insurgency, but France backs the fighters in the war against the Islamic State group.

Jaysh al-Islam said the evacuations would take place in stages, but it did not say when they would begin.

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