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Situation in Rukban camp made worse by crime, lawlessness — Russian military

March 15, 7:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Syrian government offered security guarantees to refugees willing to leave the camp

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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The dire humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp, located within the 55-km security zone surrounding US Tanf base, is made worse by lawlessness on behalf of US-supported militants, the head of the Russian center for reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria told reporters.

"The situation in the Rukban camp is made worse by widespread crime. Refugees are forced to stay in the camp and suffer from lawlessness on behalf of militant groups supported by the United States," Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin said.

He said that the Syrian government offered security guarantees to refugees willing to leave the camp, and offered to issue new documents instead of their lost ones under a simplified procedure.

The government also established a security corridor for the safe return of refugees, set up a mobile checkpoint and dispatched buses there.

"The US side’s refusal to guarantee safe withdrawal for refugees via the US-controlled 55-km zone around the Tanf base and to ensure their right for unimpeded and free-of-charge departure to their places of permanent residence disrupts an important humanitarian mission to save Syrian citizens," the Russian defense official said.

According to him, the country’s authorities continue their effort to grant amnesty to people who avoided serving in the army, including as a result of becoming a displaced person or joining an illegal armed group. A total of 56,803 people have been granted amnesty as of March 13.

Besides, the work is underway to rebuild the Syrian infrastructure. As of March 13, a total of 31,382 residential dwellings, 147 medical facilities and 825 educational facilities have been reconstructed, 1,019 kilometers of roads have been repaired.

 

The Rukban camp

The Rukban refugee camp emerged on the Syrian-Jordanian border in 2014 after Amman closed its border due to security and economic concerns. The area, which is controlled by illegal armed groups, is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.

On March 5, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a cemetery with 300 fresh graves had been found near the camp. According to the ministry, the camp has lost its status to have been turned into a "reservation where hostages are held by force". The Russian Defense Ministry said most of the shelters in the camp were unlivable in wintertime, the sanitary conditions were appalling and food and other goods could be purchased only at improvised outdoor bazaars controlled by the militants.

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