Evacuation of Syria's Douma suspended over disagreements

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"A gaggle of buses carrying loads of Jaish al-Islam terrorists and their households go away Douma in preparation of them being transported to Jarabulus", a rebel-held metropolis in northern Syria, state info firm SANA acknowledged, referring to the rebels.

Earlier, on Friday other mortars fell on Umayyad Square and on Abu Remmaneh and Ish al-Warwar areas, leaving four civilians martyred and more than 30 others injured.

Syrian forces have liberated around 95 percent of Eastern Ghouta, which was once a launch pad for deadly attacks against civilians in the capital.

A total of 2,963 militants and their families evacuated Douma in three batches over the past few days under a deal concluded between the Islam Army and the Syrian government forces under a Russian mediation. State media said the rebels were responsible for the Damascus shelling.

As talks over the third and final pocket of Douma dragged on, Russian Federation and Syria's regime threatened Jaish al-Islam with a renewed military assault if they did not agree to withdraw. Many more people had stayed, fearing what might follow departure from home towns they had not abandoned through seven years of war.On Friday, the buses stopped.Speaking before the airstrikes, the medical worker said he had made a decision to stay because his work was not finished.

The military offensive by Syrian government forces and their allies, which involved weeks of intense bombardment, has left more than 1,600 civilians dead and thousands more wounded in eastern Ghouta since February 18, according to the Observatory.

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SANA blamed the suspension of the evacuation on the inner conflict among Islam Army rebels.

"It feels like we're back in the days of the Gaza war" when Israel was bombing the Palestinian enclave and people around the world watched, he said, giving his name only as Mohammed.

The enclave on the eastern edge of Damascus had escaped regime control since 2012 and, although it had shrunk over the years, it still covered sizeable territory two months ago.

Russia's military said the Army of Islam has forced out leaders who were taking part in negotiations to withdraw from Douma and that their fighters have resumed attacks. The rebel group denied targeting the residential area.

Tens of thousands of civilians also fled through humanitarian corridors opened by Russian Federation and are either already returning to their devastated neighborhoods or staying in crowded shelters. Fighters and civilians with familial ties to the group are being rejected, residents said.An activist interviewed Friday said the choice to stay had not been his own, after Jaish al-Islam declined to clear two of his relatives to leave and held up his application as a result.

Assad is keen to recapture Ghouta to eliminate the opposition from the outskirts of Damascus and end years of rocket fire on the capital.

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