DAMASCUS (Sputnik) – Two groups of Syrian civilians, a total of 100 people, left the Syrian city of Duma in the enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday and told Sputnik about their life in the territory controlled by militants.
The situation in Eastern Ghouta has become particularly tense in the last few weeks. The UN Security Council on February 24 approved Resolution 2401 that urges all parties to the conflict in Syria to stop hostilities and ensure a humanitarian pause. However, militants in Eastern Ghouta are making it extremely difficult for the civilians to leave the enclave using humanitarian corridors. At the same time, Damascus and its suburbs are being shelled daily from Eastern Ghouta.
Almost 3 Weeks in Basement
The civilians in Duma have repeatedly asked militants to let them leave the enclave, but their requests have been denied.
“We spent 20 days in a basement and the militants did not let us leave it… They did not let me and my daughter leave even after I got a head wound in a bombing,” Naka, a mother of three, told Sputnik.
The woman said all of the civilians in Duma were waiting for the government forces to arrive. Those who stayed in the city asked Naka to pray for them so that they would also be able to escape.
Khaisam Bakr, 42, from the settlement of Mesraba, said that everyone wants to go back to the way life was before the war.
“We were free, and our beloved Syria was the safest country in the world for us,” Khaisam said.
According to him, the civilians were forbidden from learning about what happened outside the enclave. The people are living in constant fear.
Militants Stealing Humanitarian Aid
Khalil Muhammad Shinvani, 74, said that several people had tried to flee when a Red Crescent vehicle with humanitarian aid arrived in Ghouta, but the militants beat them up and did not let them leave.
“The humanitarian aid made it to the city, but we got none of it. Militants stole it to sell it as expensively as possible,” Khalil said.
According to him, civilians received one slice of bread in two days and enough money to buy one cigarette, about 50 cents.