Jaysh Al-Islam rebel fighters began evacuating Douma, the last rebel-controlled city in the Eastern Ghouta suburban area of Damascus, on Monday, April 2. The move reportedly comes after Jaysh Al-Islam and Russian officials finalized an evacuation deal on Sunday, April 1, in which Jaysh Al-Islam fighters would release captives, surrender their medium and heavy weapons, and cede control of the area to Russian military police and Syrian government forces in exchange for the safe passage of the fighters and their families to the Jarablus area (Aleppo province) in northern Syria.
Despite these apparent developments, the situation remains somewhat unclear as members of Jaysh Al-Islam have not yet confirmed the agreement; moreover, on Sunday, a senior official from Jaysh Al-Islam denied that such a deal had been reached.
Over 1600 people have been killed and thousands of others wounded since the beginning of the regime and allied forces offensive on the area on February 18. According to Syrian state media, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Eastern Ghouta since the offensive began. As of April 2, around 70,000 people remain encircled by regime forces in Douma. The Ghouta area was one of the last strongholds of Syrian opposition fighters in the Damascus region.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.
Copyright and Disclaimer