Hope for a new beginning. Thousands of civilians leave the East Ghuta, where they have been held hostage by Islamists. Now they are receiving medical care. Thousands of civilians leave the East Ghuta, where they have been held hostage by Islamists. Now they are receiving medical care
By Karin Leukefeld, Al-Wafidin
The evacuation of civilians from the East Ghuta continues. Thousands of fighters from various armed groups have arrived with relatives in Idlib. Only the “Islamic Army” in Duma, the former administrative center of the region, remains uncompromising.
Four buses are waiting on Wednesday at the outskirts of Al-Wafidin. Hundreds of residents of the eastern suburbs of Damascus, who are to be taken to one of five detention centers of the Syrian government, are sitting and crowded in the buses. In the morning, these people had come through the humanitarian corridor established by Al-Wafidin at the end of February, as part of the UN Security Council ceasefire.
For days, civilians were initially prevented from leaving East-ghuta by the combat groups. Since the beginning of March, with the help of the Russian “Center for Reconciliation”, arrangements have been made for their withdrawal, and the pale and exhausted people are pouring out of the area.
“In the first few days, far more people came than we expected,” reports an officer in the Syrian army. Times were 5,000, then come again 6,500. Today, 1,000 civilians have come so far, he says: “Women, children, old people. Men are held back there. As hostages. ”
In a schoolyard, people are gathered before being checked for identity in the school building. Many no longer have their Syrian papers with them. Among the combat groups, a semi-state administration with its own birth and marriage certificates and identity cards had been installed. Those in possession of official documents were suspected of being agents and in danger of being arrested or killed.
Many do not want to talk to foreign journalists. Women grab their headscarves and shyly turn away. Abu Khalid smiles friendly and agrees to answer questions in English. He is supported on two crutches, his eleven-year-old son Khalid stands next to him and holds a coat tightly.
Five years ago, he broke his leg in an accident, says Abu Khalid. Because there was no medical care, the fracture was inflamed, and he could only walk with crutches. “I’m very glad we could leave Duma,” he says, putting his arm around his son’s shoulder. He, his wife and three children could go. The daughter is twelve, the youngest child was born a year before the beginning of the war and will soon be eight.
He used to breed and sell chickens, says Abu Khalid. Her life was good. On the way down the corridor, he saw his business for the first time since 2011. Now he hopes to build a new life: “I need to get well, find work and a place to live.” The daughter comes to fetch the father, and soon after, the family disappears into the school building.
From the school to the front line to Duma, it is only a few minutes’ walk. Another group has safely made its way through the corridor. Tired, people run past the cameras of the journalists. Some smile, children laugh, wave. Special forces of the Syrian army accompanied the group of about 200 people, then take over the volunteers of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARH).
About 300 medical emergencies have been placed in clinics in Damascus from this point of arrival, says SARH representative Abu Samir: “Children who have lost their arms or legs and urgently need care. Kidney and cancer sufferers who need special medicines. “However, these are hardly to be found in Damascus because of the economic sanctions against Syria imposed by the European Union.
Nothing of this is reported by the MSM
translation by alfonso