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Iran Press TV

Syrian troops open second safe passage for civilians out of Eastern Ghouta: Report

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 8, 2018 04:47PM

The Syrian government has opened a second humanitarian corridor out of the militant-held Eastern Ghouta as army troops are poised to slice the flashpoint enclave in two.

Syria's official news agency SANA, citing one of its correspondents, announced the news on Thursday, saying the newly established safe passage, situated to the south of the enclave, was for civilians, "who are besieged by terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta, to leave through the Jisreen-Mleha road."

Last week, army troops secured a safe corridor set up for the evacuation of civilians via the al-Wafideen checkpoint, through which a UN aid convoy, consisting 46 truckloads of health, food and nutrition supplies, also crossed into Eastern Ghouta and headed for the main town of Douma.

Russia, which is helping Damascus curb foreign-backed militancy in the Arab country, has designated four safe passage routes in Eastern Ghouta after a ceasefire was declared across Syria by the UN Security Council.

Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus with some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few weeks, as Takfiri terrorist outfits have launched mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat, killing around 20 civilians in two weeks.

The Syrian army is making steady advances in the enclave, but it is facing a hostile West, which is threatening airstrikes to stop the push. President Bashar al-Assad vowed last week that Syrian forces would continue the campaign until the whole area is retaken.

Also on Thursday, a pro-Damascus commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that army troops were poised to slice the militant-held shrinking enclave in two as forces advancing from the east linked up with soldiers at its western edge.

Meanwhile, Syria's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Hussam Aala, told the UN Human Rights Council that military operations in Eastern Ghouta targeted "terrorist organizations in accordance with international humanitarian law."

"Although we have committed to a daily humanitarian truce, the terrorists continue to indiscriminately shell Damascus," he said.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

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