Russian military spokesman Vladimir Zolotukhin said at least 11,000 people have fled the besieged area of eastern Ghouta in Syria on Saturday amid a brutal government offensive against the last rebel stronghold in the country. Meanwhile, thousands of civilians poured out of Eastern Ghouta on Thursday after a month-long bombardment brought the Syrian regime closer to recapturing the devastated rebel enclave outside Damascus.
Turkish air and artillery strikes rained down overnight and in recent days, driving tens of thousands out of the main town by auto and on foot, Kurdish authorities and the Observatory say.
The Syrian regime now controls 70 percent of Eastern Ghouta and have split the remaining rebel-held territory into three shrinking pockets.
On Thursday, a joint convoy of food supplies for some 26,000 people entered Douma, the largest town in Ghouta and part of a separate rebel-controlled pocket.
More than 30,000 people left on Saturday, the Interfax news agency cited a centre in Syria that Russia's defence ministry runs as saying.
"Warplanes targeted civilians in Zamalka as they prepared to flee", said Rahman.
The offensive has pushed thousands more to flee their homes into government-controlled areas. The de-escalation zones include - Idlib province, some parts of Latakia province, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. The United Nations said it was trying to determine how many people have left the enclave.
The intensity of the shelling and airstrikes have made it nearly impossible for ambulances to move and wounded people can not reach clinics, said Hamza Hassan, a surgeon working at one of the hospitals in eastern Ghouta.
"The fighters who are obviously holed up in a corner are using all means at their disposal, including preventing civilians from leaving them to defend their position".
State TV showed interviews with people crossing the front, in which they said the Ghouta insurgents had not let them out before. "This is just a little of what these families need", said the International Committee of the Red Cross, which delivered the aid alongside the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the UN.
Dozens of people crowded into trucks and tractors waved or chanted as they drove by.
One man cried and thanked the Syrian army in the broadcast. It said troops reached the center of Kafr Batna and Saqba.
"For eight days, we have coordinated with the soldiers, telling them we want to get the civilians out", he said.