Refugees in the Zone of US Presence in Syria Asked Russia for Help

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The Syrian refugees living in the Rukban camp on the border with Jordan appealed to the Russian Federation and the Syrian authorities with a call for help in connection with the extremely difficult humanitarian situation due to the actions of the US military, reported a source familiar with the situation to RIA Novosti.

Earlier the head of the Center for reconciliation between the conflicting parties in Syria Lieutenant-General Sergey Kuralenko said that the US still hasn’t responded to proposals to ensure the safety of humanitarian aid deliveries to the Syrian Al-Tanf, therefore the decision to help the Rukban refugee camp is delayed.

“The refugees living in the Rukban camp asked the Russian side and the Syrian authorities for assistance concerning the delivery of humanitarian aid to them, and expressed their support for the Syrian army in its fight against terrorism,” said the interlocutor of the agency.

According to a source, during negotiations the proposal of the Syrian side for the withdrawal of refugees from Rukban to the territories controlled by the Syrian Arab Army and the authorities in the provinces of Damascus, Homs, and Deir Ezzor was discussed.

Refugees in the Rukban camp appeared there in 2014. The territory of the camp with a population of about 50,000 people is currently under the control of illegal gangs and is divided between them into sectors. The Al-Tanf garrison, at the same time, is one of the military bases of the US in Syria, where training and equipping of groups of the armed Syrian opposition takes place.

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On November 20th, Russia proposed to the command of US troops at Al-Tanf to jointly ensure the safety of humanitarian aid deliveries to refugees. The US-led coalition agreed to help, but said that it hasn’t received confirmation that the Syrian authorities are ready to allow passage to convoys.

“They (the US) tried to shift the blame onto the Syrian government, which allegedly doesn’t allow the passage of humanitarian convoys to the borders of the 55-kilometer zone of Al-Tanf. Furthermore, the Americans are allegedly ready to accompany humanitarian aid to the camp. It is unclear, however, how they are able to do it if, according to their own words, the forces at Rukban – 500 American military personnel who are at the base in Al-Tanf – aren’t enough to control the situation,” said the source to RIA Novosti.

The interlocutor of the agency noted that thanks to the initiative of Russia for the rendering of assistance in conducting humanitarian convoys, the Syrian authorities stated that they are ready to provide the delivery of help to their compatriots in Rukban, but on the condition that the cargo is equally distributed.

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