Russia and Syria Blame U.S. Military of a Humanitarian Crisis in Refugee Camps

MOSCOW, (BGM) – By joint statement, released yesterday, The Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic blame U.S. Military of a humanitarian crisis in Rukban and al-Hol refugee camps, learned, quoting the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Here’s the full text of the statement without editor`s correction:

JOINT STATEMENT by joint coordination headquarters of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic “the problems hindering the return of refugees from the Rukban and al-Hol camps”

(May 29, 2019)

The situation in the Rukban and al-Hol refugee camps located in the US-controlled territories of Syria remains critical.

The illegal US military presence in the so-called security zone around al-Tanf continues to be the main factor of instability in southern part of Syria and the cause of the plight of the Rukban residents. Syrian citizens are actually held hostage by US-controlled armed gangs. The conditions of the residents in the camp are such that they force people to balance on the verge of life and death.

According to the doctors of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who examined Syrian citizens who managed to leave the camp, almost every second person is diagnosed with advanced chronic diseases. Adults have tuberculosi and skin diseases. Many suffer from dystrophy, developed from hunger. Children mainly have vitamin deficiency, intestinal and viral infections.

Despite the unprecedented measures taken by Russia and Syria to rescue the residents of Rukban, thanks to which, since March 23, 13,337 Syrian citizens have left the camp, about 30 thousand Syrians continue to be in inhuman and degrading conditions. They simply have nothing to pay the US-controlled militants to leave the camp.

At the same time, the Syrian authorities, together with their allies and international humanitarian organizations, are doing everything necessary to ensure a decent life for citizens and even more! Camps for temporary accommodation on the territory controlled by the Syrian government, prepared for returning refugees, are provided with all the necessary and comply with international norms of humanitarian law. Everybody will be provided with food, medical care and other necessary assistance. Men are given a deferment from military service, all able-bodied citizens are given jobs at local enterprises. Already, more than 85 percent of Syrians who returned from Rukban have moved to their chosen places of residence. We hope that very soon they will be able to forget the inhuman living conditions in the dilapidated tents without food, water and sewage in the vicinity of the spontaneous burial grounds and dumps in the Rukban camp.

We urge the American side to stop the practice of collecting militants-controlled gangs of ransom for inclusion in the lists of those who want to leave the camp and leaving the 55-kilometer zone of al-Tanf.

Provide humanitarian access for representatives of Russia and Syria to Rukban, accompanied by staff of the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to monitor the situation in the camp and communicate with its residents.

The situation is even worse in the al-Hol camp in the territory controlled by the USA in the Al-Hasakah province, in which the sevenfold increase in the number of residents over the past four months aggravated the situation, as a result of which the camp was overcrowded. There are more than 73 thousand people in the terrifying conditions of unsanitary and diseases in the al-Hol camp.

Of particular concern is the unsatisfactory functioning of the field medical centre deployed in the camp, where there is an acute shortage of qualified medical staff, equipment and medicines.

We draw the attention of all who are not indifferent to the fate of Syria, to the gross US intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign Syrian state, which led to the creation of Rukban and al-Hol refugee camps in the territories they occupied, and the development of a critical humanitarian situation in them.

We call on the international community, UN specialized structures and international humanitarian organizations to take a principled position in influencing the United States to resolve the issue of their early withdrawal of troops from illegally occupied Syrian territories, which support illegal gangs and impede the restoration of peaceful life in Syria.

We will support any efforts of the international community to develop humanitarian assistance in Syria and provide assistance to peaceful Syrians throughout the country.

We are proposing now, not in a word, but in real action to support the activities of the Syrian authorities in returning refugees to their homeland. For this, it is necessary to stop the financial support of Syrians living abroad, which leads to their assimilation, and to move towards providing citizens with allowances for moving to their homes.

We urge the United States and the European Union to lift anti-Syrian economic sanctions. Such restrictive measures do not contribute to solving urgent humanitarian and socio-economic problems in Syria. Sanctions impede the purchase of medication and raw materials for them, medical equipment, complicate the supply of repair and construction equipment for the restoration of peaceful life.

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Source: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation