World Bulletin / News Desk
The eighth convoy carrying civilians and opposition fighters from Eastern Ghouta, a besieged suburb of Damascus, arrived in Syria’s central-western Hama province on Thursday.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area, evacuees were taken from the towns of Arbin, Zamalka and Ain Tarma.
Thursday’s convoy was comprised of 80 buses carrying 2,282 passengers, including injured people, medical patients and a number of opposition fighters.
At least 30,000 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta since the evacuation process began last week.
On Wednesday, a 55-bus convoy arrived in Hama with 3,014 civilians aboard.
Evacuees are being accommodated at temporary refugee centers -- and at local schools and mosques -- in Syria’s northwestern Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
Last week, the first two convoys evacuated people from Eastern Ghouta’s town of Harasta. These were followed by additional evacuations from the towns of Arbin, Zamalka and Ain Tarma.
The evacuations are part of a Russia-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.
On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a ceasefire in Syria -- especially in Eastern Ghouta -- to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Despite the ceasefire resolution, however, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive -- backed by Russian air power -- aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.
Since Feb. 19, at least 1,433 people have reportedly been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.
Home to some 400,000 residents, the district has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has prevented the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian supplies.