Limited medical evacuations from Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Limited medical evacuations from Syria's Eastern Ghouta
From Al Jazeera - March 14, 2018

At least 150 civilians requiring urgent medical treatment have been evacuated from opposition-held Eastern Ghouta, the current major battleground in Syria's seven-year war.

They were evacuated on Tuesday under a deal reached between Jaish al-Islam, one of the largest opposition groups in the area, and Russia - the Syrian government's principal ally.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) - a UK-based war monitor - the evacuees were taken to shelters under government control in other parts of the Damascus suburbs.

The area, which is a suburb of the capital, Damascus, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad sits, has been under siege by the latter's forces since mid-2013.

Eastern Ghouta, home to 400,000 people, has been under international spotlight in recent weeks due to the plight of civilians during an intensified governmentcampaign to retake control from the armed opposition.

Since the start of the campaign on February 18, at least 1,196 civilians have been killed in daily aerial and ground bombardment by the Syrian government and Russia, according to the SOHR. The figure includes 245 children and 164 women. At least 4,600 others have been wounded.

The United Nations has said that at least 1,000 sick and wounded residents of Eastern Ghouta are in need of life-saving medical attention.

The evacuations come as the Syrian government makes major advances in Eastern Ghouta in one of the deadliest offensives against the opposition since the battle for Aleppo in 2016, when the rebels were dealt their worst defeat in the war.

Fighter evacuations


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