Eastern Ghouta refugees: 'We left our history, our memories'

Charlene Craig
March 27, 2018

Eastern Ghouta's rebels now only hold the town of Douma, under the control of the Jaish al-Islam rebel faction, and another pocket that includes Ein Terma, Arbin and Zamalka, under the control of Failaq al-Rahman. In their assault on the rebel-held area, pro-government troops have been accused of indiscriminate shelling leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

Lt. Gen. Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov told Russian news agencies on Monday in Syria that Russia's military is in talks with the Army of Islam to discuss its withdrawal from Douma.

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In November 2015, a Britain-based activist group reported rebels in Eastern Ghouta were using dozens of captives taken hostage in Adra as "human shields".

A civilian committee representing Douma said in a statement released late Sunday after meeting Russian officials that the negotiations "are extremely hard and no quick results should be expected". The army has gained control over 90 percent of Eastern Ghouta and Douma is the only town in the Northern parts of the region that is still under the terrorists' occupation.

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More than 114,000 people have left Eastern Ghouta through humanitarian corridors since the declaration of a pause in hostilities, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria said on Monday.

Syrian government forces have regained control of almost all of Eastern Ghouta.

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