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Medical Evacuations Begin in Rebel-Held Eastern Ghouta

Medical Evacuations Begin in Rebel-Held Eastern GhoutaMedical Evacuations Begin in Rebel-Held Eastern Ghouta

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday said aid workers had started to evacuate people suffering from severe medical conditions from the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

“Tonight, the Syrian Red Crescent with the ICRC team started the evacuation of critical medical cases from Eastern Ghouta to Damascus,” the relief group said in a tweet, DW reported.

At least four people were evacuated on Wednesday, according to aid groups on the ground. The Syrian American Medical Society said the evacuations included “29 critical cases, approved for medical evacuation to Damascus.”

According to the UN, nearly 500 people in the area need urgent access to health services.

  Critical Point

Robert Mardini, Middle East Director for the ICRC, urged government forces and rebel groups to do more to provide crucial access to humanitarian aid and medical supplies to avert more suffering.

“The humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta has reached a critical point. As so often in Syria over the last six years, ordinary people are once again trapped in a situation where life slowly becomes impossible and where goods and aid are severely limited,” said Mardini.

The Eastern Ghouta region is one of the last strongholds of rebels fighting the Syrian army forces.

The Syrian government says the rebels have used the population there as human shield and hostages, preventing international aid from reaching those who need it.

 

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