MOSCOW – Russia has called on the United States to end the illegal occupation of the territory in the Rukban camp in Syria.
“We are willing to examine any steps that will help the refugees to leave the Rukban camp, but I believe that the simplest and most effective solution would be the cessation of the illegal occupation of the territory by the United States,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the media with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi.
In addition, the minister stated that the US military collaborates with illegal armed groups in the Al-Tanf area.
“The Americans have unilaterally declared the creation of a security zone with a radius of 55 kilometers in the area of Al-Tanf. It is not clear how they justify their illegal presence when it is in fact an occupying presence. Around it, there are many illegal armed formations, with which the Americans collaborate and, as far as I know, help them to recover,” said the Russian foreign minister.
In the Al-Tanf area, near the Syrian-Jordanian border, a US military base is located. Rukban camp lies in the 55-kilometer zone around the base controlled by the US military.
The Russian military, as well as the foreign ministries of Syria and Russia, have repeatedly stated that the situation in the countryside is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.
In January, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that people living in this camp were “in deplorable condition” and became “easy prey” for terrorists. The limited supply of water, extremely cold weather and malfunctioning of health facilities contribute to the increase of diseases, including influenza, measles, tuberculosis and chronic respiratory diseases, according to WHO.
Nearly 1,000 people left the Rukban refugee camp in Syria last Thursday via Jeleb’s checkpoint, Russian Major General Viktor Kupchishin, head of the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, announced today.
“On 4 April 985 civilians left the Rukban refugee camp at Jeleb’s checkpoint and were transported to places of temporary residence in the city of Homs,” the military official said in a daily briefing.
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) April 5, 2019
Kupchishin noted that all refugees received all the help they needed during the move, including food and accommodation.
Also according to the military, Russian forces have organized a humanitarian corridor in the region to prevent a possible humanitarian disaster in the Rukban camp.