17 Apr 2018 09:21

Over 59,500 civilians return to Syria's E. Ghouta, situation stable - Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax-AVN) - More than 59,000 civilians have returned to Syria's Eastern Ghouta that was liberated from militants, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

"A total of 580 civilians returned to their homes in Eastern Ghouta yesterday. In all, 59,583 people have returned there since the humanitarian operation began," the ministry said.

"The situation in Eastern Ghouta is stable," it said.

Units of Russia's military police and Syrian law enforcement agencies are working jointly in Eastern Ghouta to maintain order, ensure the civilian population's security, prevent provocations, and extend assistance to local residents, the ministry said.

Construction equipment provided by the Russian side is being used in the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta to clear away rubble in order to resume vehicle traffic. Repair teams are working to restore water and power supplies, the Defense Ministry said.

The Russian military completed the evacuation of Jaysh al-Islam group militants from Douma last week. Russian military police forces were deployed in Douma. The whole of Eastern Ghouta is now under the control of the Syrian government.