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Russia’s top brass: US continues to hold area around Syria’s al-Tanf

December 11, 2018, 14:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Moscow was concerned over the dubious activity of the United States and its allies in Syria

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The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria

The al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria

© AP Photo/Lolita Baldor

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. The United States continues holding the 55 km zone around the Syrian community of al-Tanf where 6,000 militants are staying, Head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Tuesday.

"Perhaps, only our American partners do not want to see up to date how much has been done to revive peaceful life in Syria. They are holding with incomprehensible stubbornness the occupied 55 km area around al-Tanf where 6,000 armed militants are on the loose and are preventing the disbanding of the Rukban refugee camp," the general said at a session of the inter-departmental coordination headquarters of Russia and Syria for the return of refugees to Syrian territory.

According to Mizintsev, this is actually the last stronghold of evil, injustice and horror for ordinary Syrian citizens set up by the United States on the territory of the independent state.

"I would like to emphasize once again that Rukban is the territory illegally occupied by the United States and that is why the entire responsibility for the conditions of the life of Syrian citizens is borne solely by the United States," Mizintsev pointed out.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Igor Tsarikov said that the ministry was concerned over the dubious activity of the United States and its allies in Syria.

"There is growing concern related to the dubious activity of the United State and its allies in Syria. The illegal occupation of the 55 km zone around the base in al-Tanf continues to be the basic source of destabilization in that part of Syria," he said.

According to Tsarikov, the humanitarian operation held in early November was a failure from the organizational standpoint. Representatives of the UN and the Syrian Red Crescent Society were not let into the occupied US zone, he said.

Humanitarian aid

"The humanitarian aid was distributed by militants of the Magawir al-Saura armed grouping. In the absence of the required control, a considerable part of the humanitarian aid failed to reach those who needed it and got into the hands of illegal armed formations," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

While the United States bears full responsibility for the plight of civilians in that area, the mistakes of the first humanitarian convoy may be repeated at the UN tacit consent in the period of conducting the second humanitarian operation in the Rukban camp, he said.

"In our opinion, reputable international organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent Society, should be involved not only in the delivery but also in the distribution of humanitarian aid. We are insistently calling on our partners to avoid the repetition of mistakes committed while the basic efforts have to be focused on disbanding this camp and resettling its inhabitants," Tsarikov said.

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