Last Update 13:43
Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Medical evacuations begin from Syria's Eastern Ghouta: ICRC

Reuters , Wednesday 27 Dec 2017
Syria
People are seen during shelling in the town of Hamoria, eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria, December 3, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1436
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1436

Medical evacuations have begun from the Syrian rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta to Damascus, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria said early on Wednesday.

Almost 400,000 people in Eastern Ghouta are besieged by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and the United Nations has pleaded for his government to allow evacuation of around 500 patients, including children with cancer.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said four patients were taken to hospitals in Damascus, the first of 29 critical cases approved for medical evacuation, and the remainder would be evacuated over the coming days.

SAMS advocacy manager Mohamad Katoub said in a tweet that five had been approved for the first group of evacuations, part of a deal on an exchange of detainees between Assad's government and rebel group Jaish al-Islam. It was not clear why only four of the five had left.

The Syrian Red Crescent said the evacuations were the result of "long negotiations". An ICRC spokeswoman declined to give more details, citing the sensitivity of the operation.

On Sunday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was working with Russia, Assad's ally, on the evacuations.

Last week Jan Egeland, the United Nations humanitarian adviser for Syria, said 494 people were on the priority list for medical evacuations.

"That number is going down, not because we are evacuating people but because they are dying," he said. "We have tried now every single week for many months to get medical evacuations out, and food and other supplies in."

The United Nations has been waiting for months for the Syrian authorities to provide "facilitation letters" to allow the aid operation to get under way.

Forces loyal to Assad have carried out air raids on Eastern Ghouta, while besieged rebels have fired mortars into neighbouring Damascus.

"That has nothing to do with the right of evacuating, and obligation to evacuate civilians (and) wounded," Egeland said.

 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.