The Russian Center for the Syrian Reconciliation reported Wednesday that militants from illegal armed groups controlling the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus fired 13 mortar rounds at residential areas of the Syrian capital over the past 24 hours.
“Our regular monitoring of the ceasefire regime shows that armed groups continue hostilities in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia and Daraa. We are particularly concerned over the tense situation in Eastern Ghouta,” the center’s spokesman Major-General Yury Yevtushenko said at a daily briefing.
The militants are blocking residents of Eastern Ghouta from leaving the danger zone, threatening to kill them for any attempt, Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, the head of the Center for Syrian Reconciliation reported.
“According to those who applied to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent for help, militants are not letting them out from the danger zone, take personal vehicles, and prohibit the use of radio, television and cellular communications. For any attempts to get out of the East Ghouta, they threaten to kill,” Yevtushenko said.
Militants from the Jaysh al-Islam group have shelled and dispersed more than 300 civilians trying to reach the humanitarian corridor.
“The shelling caused structural damage and injuries among civilians. Nine Damascus residents, including three children, were wounded,” Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko said at a daily briefing.
It is also noted that militants from the Jaysh al-Islam forcibly brought prisoners from the local Ta-Tauba prison and civilians to equip its positions in the area close to the humanitarian corridor, near the Muhayam-al-Wafedin settlement, in Duma along with civilians.
“All these actions are regarded by us as the reluctance of militants to comply with resolution 2401 and indicate intentions to continue the fighting. We urge the leaders of the armed groups in East Ghouta to immediately cease hostilities and ensure the safe exit of civilians, as well as the evacuation of the sick and wounded along the humanitarian corridor,” Yevtushenko stated.
Humanitarian Pause in Eastern Ghouta
On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that a daily humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta would start on Tuesday from 09:00 until 14:00, following the relevant order of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
However, during the first and the second days of the truce, the humanitarian effort was hindered by the attacks of militants, with the Syrian army not responding to provocations. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, after shelling took place from Eastern Ghouta preventing civilians from leaving, the militants started a new offensive against Syrian government troops.
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