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Russia says cease-fire in Syria's Ghouta will be extended

Tens of thousands emerged from Hamouria and other opposition towns to escape the onslaught.

Published: 16th March 2018 02:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2018 02:50 PM   |  A+A-

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian civilians with their belongings, fleeing from fighting between the Syrian government forces and rebels, in Hamouria in eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, March. 15, 2018.

By Associated Press

MOSCOW: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the Russian military and the Syrian government are extending a cease-fire in Damascus' rebel-held suburbs as long as it takes to allow all the civilians to leave the area.

Lavrov spoke in Kazakhstan on Friday, saying the cease-fire will be extended "until all (civilians) leave" the enclave known as eastern Ghouta.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that 2,000 people had exited the rebel-held suburbs by early morning.

Thursday saw the largest single-day exodus of civilians in Syria's civil war. Tens of thousands emerged from Hamouria and other opposition towns to escape the onslaught.

The civilians were fleeing as Syrian government troops, backed by Russian aircraft, pushed further into eastern Ghouta.

Elsehwere, Turkish forces are pushing their way into the northern Kurdish-held town of Afrin.



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