WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian proposals for humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from Eastern Ghouta in Syria are a "joke" and people are afraid to use them for fear of conscription, exile or death, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

"The idea that Russia is calling for a so-called humanitarian corridor, I want to be clear, is a joke," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a briefing. Residents fear using such corridors because they could be conscripted into Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, never return to their homes, or be killed, she said.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Peter Cooney)