Lavrov: Syria's East Ghouta Almost Completely Liberated From Terrorists
“Most of the militants have been evacuated by now, the restoration of peaceful life is underway. About 90 percent of Eastern Ghouta is already under control of government forces,” Lavrov said after a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Moscow.
The provocations involving suicide bombers wearing explosive belts were being prepared in the Damascus suburb; the planned attack was targeted at refugees fleeing the war zone on buses.
The Russian military has foiled attempted suicide bombings on buses carrying refugees from East Ghouta, having also found some 48 suicide belts, Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday at a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.
“We are receiving information from residents on a daily basis. Four days ago we got information about preparations for provocations involving “Shaheed belts” and suicide bombers who were to be seated along with refugees. Unfortunately, this information has been confirmed.”
According to Shoigu, Russian servicemen seized seven belts on Monday, 32 belts on Tuesday and nine belts on Wednesday.
“It’s easy to imagine what would happen if those suicide bombers blew themselves up on buses with refugees, including women and children. It doesn’t matter whether those are families of militants or not.”
The defense minister said that a total of 11 thousand armed militants and 19 thousand members of their families, as well as over 130 thousand civilians have left East Ghouta so far. He noted that the Russian defense ministry managed to provide a simultaneous evacuation of both militants and civilians from the conflict zones.
“This is a great job that our officers do,” he pointed out, adding that Russian troops are providing the refugees with medicine, food, and water as well as lodging for the night.
He also stressed that militant snipers had injured six civilians, adding that the “sniper threat” has been neutralized.