CAIRO – The evacuation of the last group of patients with serious illnesses from a besieged rebel-held region near the Syrian capital came to an end early Friday.
A total of 13 patients were evacuated along with three prisoners who were being held by Jaish al-Islam, a rebel group, and were transferred by the Syrian Red Crescent team from Eastern Ghouta to hospitals in the capital Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The British-based watchdog said 29 patients were evacuated in exchange for 29 prisoners arrested by Jaish al-Islam under an agreement between the government and the opposition.
However, the rebel group has not yet confirmed the release of the detainees.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has overseen the evacuation process alongside the Red Crescent.
The Syrian American Medical Society said on Thursday via Twitter that 12 children were evacuated for medical care to Damascus hospitals.
Eastern Ghouta has been besieged by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for several years.