Rebels in Syria's eastern Ghouta discussing ceasefire with United Nations - statement

19 March, 2018, 15:50 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Syrian government forces deploy in the captured town of Beit Sawa it the Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus

"We said patient people would reach to the victory and we did", he said.

He told the soldiers that they are not only fighting for the region but also to rid the world of terrorism.

"For each bullet you shot that killed a terrorist, you changed the balance of the world".

CNN can not independently confirm the exact number of people fleeing as the advancing Syrian military continues to pound rebel targets in the eight-year civil war. The Observatory said 16 people were killed in the hospital including two pregnant women.

The main rebel group in the southern pocket of Syria's opposition-held Eastern Ghouta has said it is negotiating with a United Nations delegation about a ceasefire, aid and the evacuation of urgent medical cases.

Syrian state TV said the Syrian army had given rebels in the Harasta pocket of opposition-held eastern Ghouta till 3 pm local time on Sunday to withdraw, citing its own correspondent.

According to activists inside the enclave, those who have made their way to government-controlled territories are often detained by government forces upon arriving at multiple points on the outskirts of the city.

The correspondent indicated that after restoring control over Jisreen town, the army units continued their operations in the direction of Kafr Batna to the west in a scenario similar to the battle of Saqba, where the army managed to break the defense lines of the terrorists at the eastern and southeastern outskirts of the town, retaking large swathes deep into the heart of the town.

Ankara says the YPG is an extension of the PKK, a marxist Kurdish militant group that has been waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey since the 1980s.

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Air strikes pound rebel-held area in Syria's eastern Ghouta, killing 10
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian government is now in control of over 80 percent of the area. The YPG and the Observatory had said a Turkish air strike on the town's main hospital killed 16 people the night before.

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In a press conference outside of Afrin, Kurdish official Othman Sheik Issa said a new phase of the fight will begin against Turkey, threatening "hit and run tactics" to target Turkish troops and its allied forces.

Al Jazeera has not been able to independently verify the claims.

Civilians trudged out of Eastern Ghouta's Jisreen on Saturday after regime forces seized control of the town, many with small children walking by their sides.

The UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Thursday conditions for those remaining in eastern Ghouta were "dire".

"Families who left here have done so as a result of the heavy bombardment, they say it is more merciful than having to endure the government's shelling", al-Khouli added.

But it appears that is not happening for some who want to leave.

El Deeb reported from Beirut.

An army officer supervising arrivals in the industrial town of Adra, north of eastern Ghouta, said 25,000 had been settled in schools and were receiving food, water and medicine.



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