Thousands of people evacuated from Syria's eastern Ghouta

Smoke rises during Syrian government bombardment on the rebel-controlled town of Arbin in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on late

Thousands of people evacuated from Syria's eastern Ghouta

Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Saturday that Oman's role in the Persian Gulf is important to the a time of sharp divisions among the Gulf Arab states, civil wars in Yemen and Syria, and growing Iranian influence in Iraq.

Valery Gerasimov called Gen. Joseph Dunford Tuesday to discuss the situation in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta. -Turkish force will replace a Kurdish militia deployed in the Syrian town of Manbij.

The developments show how the map of control in Syria has been changing in recent weeks, with Turkey and Russian Federation both pressing their advantages since the self-proclaimed caliphate of the Islamic State jihadist group largely collapsed previous year.

Votel testified with Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, on the challenges both face - Votel in the Mideast and Afghanistan, and Waldhauser on the entire African continent. It said Washington and Ankara are committed to working out outstanding issues and that detailed discussions are still underway and still require approval.

Building on those claims, the U.S. and its allies, especially France and Britain, have been pointing the finger of blame at the Syrian government.

The Russian Defense Ministry was cited by local media reports as placing the number of civilians evacuated from Eastern Ghouta over the past few days at 76.

Turkey is riled by USA support to the YPG, and accuses the US of allegedly not fulfilling a promise to move the Syrian Kurdish fighters in Manbij east of the Euphrates River.

Accusing Damascus, the United States then launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, which the opponents of the Syrian government claimed was used as the launch-pad for the alleged gas attack, taking the lives of about 20 people, including both Syrian soldiers and civilians.

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On Monday, Russia said the Syrian military has found a workshop used by foreign-backed militants to make chemical weapons in a recently-liberated area in the Eastern Ghouta.

"But they (rebel fighters) are not letting them out", the unnamed resident said.

"With that vote Russian Federation made a commitment to us, to the Syrian people, and the world to stop the killing in Syria", Haley continued.

However, the group Jaysh al-Islam vowed not to leave the area and to continue fighting advancing Syrian government forces.

"This is a debate we will have in the coming hours at the United Nations, where it will be shown that the concessions on the ground from Russian Federation, but first and foremost the Syrian regime and its Iranian allies, are insufficient", Macron said.

Washington has not confirmed any such plan - and a small contingent of US forces is already in Manbij. He said he can't decide whether to risk the journey out of Afrin with his two children or to remain in place.

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish militia group to be "terrorists" while the US has relied on the group in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Sick and injured civilians left a rebel enclave in Syria's eastern Ghouta on Tuesday under the first medical evacuation since a massive assault began almost a month ago.

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The rebel faction controlling Eastern Ghouta's main town of Douma and a military source said patients would be evacuated on Tuesday.

Moscow says its goal in Eastern Ghouta is to force the fighters to either lay down arms or leave the area, saying the outcome of a similar conflict in Aleppo could serve as a model.

The army's onslaught in eastern Ghouta, backed by air and artillery strikes, has killed about 1,160 people since February 18, a war monitor said, as Assad seeks to crush the last big rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus.

Sealing off Afrin city would be major for Turkey's "Olive Branch" operation, launched on January 20 and aimed at ousting the YPG, a vital partner for a US-backed coalition against the Islamic State group, but seen by Ankara as "terrorists".

Moscow and Damascus say their forces only target armed militants and seek to stop mortar salvoes by Islamist insurgents that killed dozens of people in the capital.

While attention in recent weeks has focused on a ferocious regime assault on Ghouta, Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels have steadily advanced against the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

"The situation of my mother has become very bad and we couldn't treat her inside Ghouta with the lack of medication, not to mention the soaring prices and the lack of everything else", Noura said.

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