DAMASCUS – UN humanitarian aid in the Syrian Rukban refugee camp ends up in the hands of terrorist groups, Russian National Defense Center chief Mikhail Mizintsev said.
“The experience of the first and second humanitarian convoy to the camp under UN auspices has shown that no matter how transparent the distribution of aid is organized, when aid workers leave the camp, it invariably falls into the hands of terrorists,” said Mizintsev.
He added that in this way humanitarian aid contributes to the supply of terrorists.
That is why “the only chance to save the residents of Rukban as soon as possible is to finally dismantle the camp.”
The military emphasized that Russia and Syria “obviously support” UN humanitarian agencies, but Russia believes the UN should send more aid to regions controlled by the Syrian authorities and not just to Idlib.
In addition, Mízintsev said Russia and Syria supported the UN plan, according to which remaining refugees in Syria’s Rukban camp will be evacuated in a month.
“We positively evaluated the operational plan prepared by the UN to evacuate the remaining inhabitants of this camp and ‘ghetto’ in a month,” said the military.
Russia has repeatedly denounced the critical situation in the Rukban refugee camp in the Al-Tanaf area of southern Syria, an area under US troop control.
According to Red Crescent data, refugees remain in Rukban, forced to stay by armed groups operating in the area.
The situation in the camp is deteriorating, although Rukban’s camp has already been abandoned by 16,000 Syrians, according to UN data.
The UN has only been able to organize two humanitarian convoys to Rukban since November 2018.
This comes as about 20 people die daily in a tent set up by US forces in northern Syria due to an acute shortage of medicines and food, as well as an inability to escape miserable conditions, Russian military officials said back in April.
The death toll has been soaring at Al-Hol’s makeshift camp since December, when it saw a massive influx of newcomers fleeing the al-Baghuz Fawqani Daesh stronghold when the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) mounted a large-scale offensive in the area.
The camp, which was originally supposed to house no more than 20,000 residents, now houses over 74,000 people, with its long overburdened capacity.
The head of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, Major General Viktor Kupchishin, said on Wednesday that the situation in the camp was on the brink of catastrophic humanitarian disaster. Citing a woman who was lucky enough to escape from the camp, he said that “between 10 and 20 people die each day, including children.”