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MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. Militants from the US-controlled areas have seized two convoys with medicines and food aimed for two Syrian settlements, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.
According to the Russian general, about 300 terrorists of the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) have infiltrated in pickups through the US-controlled zone in At Tanf and tried to block the Damascus-Deir ez-Zor road that is used to supply Syrian troops and deliver humanitarian aid to civilians.
"The question how about 300 ISIL [former name of IS - TASS] militants using pick-up trucks who tried to block the strategically important Damascus-Deir ez-Zor highway, through which supplies for Syrian troops are brought and humanitarian aid for the population is delivered, penetrated into the US-controlled area in al-Tanf remains unanswered," Konashenkov stressed.
"We offer the American side to clarify another instance of turning a blind eye to the activities of militants operating under their very noses. It is purely for military ethics reasons that we do not publish the latest photos of the US base in al-Tanf with an abundance of pick-up trucks with heavy machine guns and recoiless guns that are not typical of the US army," he noted.
According to Konashenkov, about 600 militants left the refugee camp in the US-controlled zone.
"From October 2 to 3, about 600 militants stationed at the Rukban refugee camp in the US-controlled At Tanf area have departed westward in an orderly manner in off-road vehicles," he said.
Having covered more than 300 kilometers in cars, the convoy passed through the former Tafas border checkpoint on the Syrian-Jordanian border to the southern de-escalation zone (Daraa Governorate, Syria), according to the general.
"In another 'strange' coincidence, almost simultaneously with them, two convoys with medicines and food for local population entered this de-escalation zone," Konashenkov said. The first convoy with the cargo of 30 tonnes entered Hajmi and the second one carrying 60 tonnes arrived in Khel.
The humanitarian assistance was unloaded and is in the hands of militants, who arrived from Al-Tanf, he said, adding that these settlements are controlled by sleeper cells of Jabhat al-Nusra (terror group, outlawed in Russia).
According to Konashenkov, 600 militants who arrived from the US-controlled area near Al-Tanf should have either clashed with these cells to seize medicines and food or should have acted alongside with them.
Russia’s Defense Ministry predicts an attempt to disrupt the peace process in the 4th [southern] de-escalation zone in Syria and responsibility for its sabotage will be borne by the US side, Konashenkov said.
"Considering such serious manpower reinforcements with US benevolence and the creation of the stock of medicines with food supplies, one should not be an expert to forecast an attempt to disrupt the peace agreement now in the southern de-escalation zone as well. We are warning that all the responsibility for the peace process sabotage will be borne by the US side," Konashenkov said.
He recalled that the ministry had already drawn the American counterparts’ attention to the fact that "the base illegally deployed by them to southern Syria is turning into a black hole."