5,000 evacuated from Syrian conflict zone

Damascus, Dec 30: Over 5,000 afflicted people were evacuated Sunday from a rebel-held Damascus suburb by the army, the Syrian government said Sunday.

“The citizens who have been evacuated from the Adra suburb are now in a safe haven as the ministry formed a relief operations’ room with the cooperation of Damascus countryside governorate to offer them the basic relief aid,” Xinhua reported citing Minister for Social Affairs Kinda al-Shammat.

The minister noted that her ministry hadn’t been contacted by any international humanitarian organisation regarding the humanitarian situation.

Al Qaeda-linked groups, namely Jabhat al-Nusra and the so- called Liwa al-Islam as well as the Islamic Front, infiltrated into Adra Umaliyeh suburb Dec 11, killing many state servants and people from different minority groups which largely support the administration of President Bashar al-Assad.

Since then, the Syrian troops struck a siege around the area and unleashed an offensive to recapture it. However, the operation has taken time as the rebels have taken the civilians hostages.

IANS