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Civilians flood out of Syria's Douma: monitor, webcam

From Reuters - March 22, 2018

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Large numbers of Syrian civilians were leaving the rebel-held eastern Ghouta town of Douma early on Thursday, a war monitor said, and a Russian video feed showed groups bearing children and luggage crossing into government territory.

Some 1,500 people left early on Thursday and 2,000 late on Wednesday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group.

A webcam on the Russian Defence Ministry website showed what it said was live footage from the al-Wafideen crossing point between rebel-held Douma and government areas.

Over a period of several minutes, it showed dozens of people in small groups coming around a corner and trekking along the dirt road past armed soldiers.

Some carried large bundles of their possessions, others carried small children or pushed prams. Behind were fields and trees. At one point in the road a man could be seen in a red shirt with the logo of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

Douma is the most populous area in eastern Ghouta, and for more than a week it has been entirely surrounded by the government. The Jaish al-Islam rebel group that holds the town has said it is determined to fight on, after a month-long government offensive that has taken 70 percent of the former opposition enclave in eastern Ghouta.

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