The escape from Syria's Eastern Ghouta in pictures

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People gather to be transferred from a temporary shelter in the Housh Nasri area, east of Damascus, capital of Syria, to better shelters near Damascus, on March 16, 2018.

The Russian military said that 4,127 people had left Syria's rebel-held eastern Ghouta on Friday, the TASS news agency reported, citing a senior military official. Hevi Mustafa, a senior member of the civil authority that governs Afrin, said people fled the main town to other Kurdish-held parts of the region and to government territory. Rescuers and a monitor said air strikes pounded the besieged zone.

Men, women and children walked along a dirt road to army lines on the outskirts of Hammouriyeh town, footage on state TV showed.

The Britain-based monitoring group's head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the strikes were carried out by Russian warplanes on the Saqba and Kfar Batna areas, in the south of the splintered enclave.

Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, has been under the control of armed rebels and al-Nusra Front since 2012.

A general view shows smoke billowing in Hazeh, in the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus on March 15, 2018 during reported shelling by Syrian government forces. They have accused the Ghouta factions of preventing people from leaving - which rebels deny. "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.

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