On March 2, spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin said that local activists in the Eastern Ghouta pocket are forming small armed groups to fight militants who are forbidding them from leaving the area.
“There is information that some civic activists are forming small armed groups, planning to break the militants’ blockade and reach areas controlled by the government,” Maj. Gen. Zolotukhin said, according to TASS.
Maj. Gen. Zolotukhin also revealed that clashes had erupted between the civilians and militants in Eastern Ghouta on March 1, in which four civilians and three militants were killed. Zolotukhin also noted that the center had received new reports about bad practices used by militants and horrifying humanitarian conditions in Eastern Ghouta.
“We have been receiving reports about the difficult humanitarian situation [in Eastern Ghouta – TASS], the lack of food and medicine, as well as numerous complaints about persecution on the part of militants,” Maj. Gen. Zolotukhin said.
The spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation also announced that two children, a boy and a girl, had been safely evacuated from the Eastern Ghouta pocket on March 2. Maj. Gen Zolotukhin said that militants had targeted the children on their way out, but the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had been able to protect them.
“Now medics and psychologists are working with them [the children],” Maj. Gen. Zolotukhin stated.
A daily humanitarian pause has been imposed in the Eastern Ghouta pocket from 09:00 to 14:00 local time since February 27, upon orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, so far militants have succeeded in forbidding tens of thousands of civilians from leaving the pocket.