A Russian military commander says militants in Syria’s East Ghouta have opened fire on a convoy of about 300 families who were trying to leave the embattled region.
Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin, of the Russian peace and reconciliation center in Syria, said on Thursday that the convoy had been targeted one kilometer from the southern exit of East Ghouta.
Three cars were destroyed in the attack, but there is no information on possible casualties, he added.
The anti-Damascus militants later fired mortars on the Eastren Ghouta exit where relatives of the displaced people were waiting along with a group of Russian and Western journalists, Zolotukhin said.
All of the people were evacuated and there were no casualties, he added.
On Wednesday, Zolotukhin warned that the militants were preventing residents from leaving Eastern Ghouta and had intensified their shelling of the exit corridor.
Syria seizes arms destined for Ghouta terrorists
Additionally on Thursday, Syrian government authorities confiscated a large shipment of weapons and ammunition destined for al-Nusra Front terrorists in Eastern Ghouta.
Some of the weapons were US-made, according to Syria’s official SANA news agency which also cited communication devices among the items seized.
Holed up inside Eastern Ghouta, foreign-backed militants have been launching indiscriminate mortar and rocket attacks on the Syrian capital Damascus, which have resulted in many civilian deaths.
The Syrian army, backed by the Russian air force, has launched an operation to liberate the region.
Syria has established a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to leave the operation zone, while Russia has been enforcing daily pauses in fighting to facilitate the exit of people.
On February 24, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding a month-long ceasefire across Syria to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations, but that has failed to reduce terrorist attacks on civilians.