Syrian rebels let militants leave eastern Ghouta

Syrian forces attacking eastern Ghouta 'have surrounded rebels in Douma'

Syrian forces attacking eastern Ghouta 'have surrounded rebels in Douma'

The rebel-held city of Harasta in the capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta countryside has become encircled by the fire of the Syrian army, following the military progress in Eastern Ghouta, said the report.

For eastern Ghouta's civilians, mostly trapped underground with little food or water, the choice of whether or not to emerge to seek supplies may be one of life or death.

"The choice of the people in Ghouta is either to get out - and they don't know what's happening when they get out of Ghouta - or to stay and be under the bombs", he stated.

The Syrian government began a major offensive last month to re-take Eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus.

"Tense negotiations continue between representatives of the Center. leaders of the illegal armed formations of the Syrian opposition in order to reach an agreement on the withdrawal of the second line of militants from the zone of de-escalation of East Ghouta", he said, according to Russian news agencies.

Russian Federation and the Syrian government say the other rebel groups have worked with H.T.S. and so are fair game for attacks.

"After almost nine hours inside, the decision was made to leave for security reasons and to avoid jeopardizing the safety of humanitarian teams on the ground", said Jens Laerke, deputy spokesperson for the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "The security of humanitarian workers, as well as that of civilians, must be guaranteed at all times", Mardini said.

A Douma resident, in a voice message over which loud explosions were audible, said four jets were in the sky and residential areas had come under air attack.

The trucks had been stuck at the Wafideen crossing the entire week, waiting to enter to deliver the remaining food parcels and flour bags.

Planned aid convoy to Syria postponed
Eastern Ghouta is one of the last major rebel-held enclaves in Syria , which has been ravaged by war for nearly seven years. The United Nations had hoped to deliver the outstanding aid on Thursday. "Our security guarantees remain in place", he said.

An AFP correspondent inside Douma said shelling and air strikes were rocking the town on Saturday.

People are seen with their belongings in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 8, 2018.

It said the initiative was "based on consultations between Jaish al-Islam and the United Nations, and a number of global actors".

The two largest rebel groups in the area, Jaish al-Islam and Failaq al-Rahman, have yet to comment on the report, Reuters stated today.

Other Syrian media outlets also reported that the army had made progress against the rebels.

Jaish al-Islam said it had come to an agreement with a variety of parties, including the United Nations, to evacuate the fighters from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) - an alliance of factions led by the Nusra Front, which sprung from al-Qaeda.

According to Syrian state media, 13 fighters were evacuated with their families through the al-Wafeedin passage and bussed to Idlib province.

However, U.N. agencies said most medical supplies had been stripped from the convoy by Syrian government officials and added that the food supplies brought in were insufficient.

Bilal Abu Salah, a resident of Douma, said shortages were causing great hardship.

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