Vladimir Putin says Russia evacuated civilian group from Syria's Ghouta

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Feb 28, 2018.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Feb 28, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday (Feb 28) that Russia had managed to evacuate "quite a big group" of civilians from Syria's rebel-held eastern Ghouta.

Mr Putin, speaking at a news conference alongside Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had helped broker the evacuation.

Mr Putin did not say when the civilians had managed to leave.

He told the same news conference that rebel groups in eastern Ghouta were using it as a base to shell other areas.