DAMASCUS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army is carrying out operations against the rebels in the capital Damascus Eastern Ghouta countryside as part of its duty to fight terrorism in accordance with the international law, said a statement on Tuesday.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that all measures have been undertaken to ensure the protection of civilians in accordance with the Russian-backed daily humanitarian pause that was implemented following the adoption of the UN Security Resolution 2401, which was endorsed on Feb. 24 and called for a 30-day-long humanitarian ceasefire.
The UN resolution urged for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria to give a space for the humanitarian activity to take place and save tens of thousands of civilians.
The resolution, however, excluded the military operations against the terror-designated groups in Syria such as the Islamic State (IS) and the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee, otherwise known as the Nusra Front.
The ministry welcomed the exclusion of the terror-labeled groups, saying the army is fighting those groups in Eastern Ghouta while observing the Russian-backed five-hour-long daily humanitarian pause to give the civilians time to leave through a humanitarian corridor in the Wafidin area northeast of Damascus.
Russian media outlets said 13 women and children evacuated Eastern Ghouta through the humanitarian corridor on Monday night. Local media reports also said that two children left Eastern Ghouta a couple of days ago.
The ministry said the Syrian helicopters are drop leaflets over Eastern Ghouta areas on daily basis to inform the civilians of the safe routes to take to leave the rebel-held areas.
It charged, however, that the terror groups are preventing the civilians from leaving by targeting the humanitarian corridor with mortar shells.
Regarding the rebels' claims that the Syrian army is using chemical weapons in the attacks on Eastern Ghouta, the ministry said the backers of the rebels have launched "fake and misleading media campaign as well as rumors about the alleged use of chemical weapons."
Meanwhile, the ministry urged the UN to put pressure on the countries that are backing the rebels to abide by the resolution 2401 and to curb the rebels' shelling of residential areas in Damascus.
Earlier in the day, state news agency SANA said the Syrian army fully captured the town of Muhamadiyeh in Eastern Ghouta, the latest in a series of victories the Syrian army achieved in the war on the rebel groups in that sprawling area.
Capturing the town has enabled the Syrian army to cut off supply routes and communication between the rebels in Eastern Ghouta, said SANA, adding that the rebels in that area are suffering chaos and collapse.
In tandem with the military operations in Eastern Ghouta, the army is securing the humanitarian corridor between the Wafidin area and Eastern Ghouta to allow civilians to leave toward government-run shelters.
The achievement is the latest in a series of successful military operations that have enabled the Syrian army to capture 40 percent of Eastern Ghouta since the military operation started late last month.
A day earlier, a humanitarian convoy of 46 truckloads of aid entered Eastern Ghouta, the first aid to reach that rebel-held area in that region since the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to achieve a 30-day-long humanitarian pause on Feb. 24.
However, the International Committee of the Red Cross said not all of the aid was unloaded in Douma in Eastern Ghouta due to the "security situation" in that area, with activists reporting shelling on the area which pushed aid workers to leave.
Eastern Ghouta has grabbed headlines recently amid a government resolve to recapture that sprawling area while at the same time allowing civilians to leave as around 400,000 people still live in that rebel-held enclave.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ongoing military operation in Eastern Ghouta has killed 800 people.