Dozens Leave Besieged Syrian Enclave Under Evacuation Deal

One resident, Ward Mardini, has been sharing an underground shelter with more than 200 people. On Tuesday, she posted a letter to rebel groups on social media on behalf of those in the shelter. Residents were weary, the letter said, of rebel calls for steadfastness amid countless civilians deaths and the destruction of their homes.

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Dozens Leave Besieged Syrian Enclave Under Evacuation Deal
Dozens Leave Besieged Syrian Enclave Under Evacuation Deal

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“For God’s sake, we believe you that Ghouta is very precious for you,” she wrote. “But we are tired, and we want a realistic solution to stop this waterfall of blood.”

Fleeing eastern Ghouta has been riddled with challenges — often life-threatening ones — for the estimated 393,000 residents of the enclave, despite a 30-day cease-fire endorsed by the United Nations Security Council nearly a month ago.

Although Russia announced the opening of two humanitarian corridors to the north and the south and a daily five-hour window for humanitarian aid, the attacks have scarcely subsided, making safe passage for civilians rife with peril. As government warplanes drop bombs, rebel snipers on the ground have reportedly shot civilians trying to reach the government side.

Last week a spate of protests erupted, with frustrated residents calling for rebel groups to leave in the hope that if they did, the government would cease its bombardment.

“All of them want this to end today before tomorrow,” Ms. Mardini said in her letter to the rebels. “All of them are tired of bombing and siege.”

Hwaida Saad contributed reporting.

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