MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. The United States seeks to provide assistance to militants under its control in Syria’s Rukban refugee camp at the expense of the UN, the Russian and Syrian joint coordination headquarters said in a statement on Wednesday.
"It is clear that the Americans need humanitarian aid to be delivered to the camp solely to achieve their own goals, that is, to provide the illegal armed groups controlled by them with food and essential supplies at the expense of the UN, which will enable them to further delay the process of disbanding Rukban," the statement reads.
It emphasized that the United States had influenced the development of the UN plan on sending a humanitarian and medical mission to the camp originally proposed by the Syrian government to evaluate the coronavirus situation there.
"We believe that the UN-proposed document has been drafted under the influence of the United States, which launched a smear campaign to accuse Damascus of inability to effectively counter the spread of coronavirus in the country," the statement runs.
According to the headquarters, the document provides for including 23 trucks with humanitarian cargo in the convoy. However, it does not envisage its targeted distribution among Syrians in Rukban. Instead, it is proposed to hand over assistance to members of six ethnic groups in the camp and three nearby villages with subsequent distribution at their own discretion.
The headquarters also noted that "contrary to the initially declared medical nature of the mission," there are no plans for medical examination of Rukban’s residents.
Mission to assess coronavirus situation in Rukban
The UN had pledged it would analyze the coronavirus situation in the Rukban refugee camp at the request of the Syrian government, though its plan leaves Russia and Syria asking questions regarding the distribution of humanitarian aid and the lack of intention to conduct a medical examination of the camp’s residents.
"The Syrian leadership is taking all possible measures to counter the spread of coronavirus in the areas controlled by it. In addition, given the critical humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp and in order to study the real COVID-19 situation in it, the Syrian Foreign Ministry has sent a formal request to the UN for an assessment medical mission in the camp," the statement reads.
The document emphasized that Syria’s initiative had been supported by the United Nations.
"At the same time, the plan proposed by representatives of the global organization leaves one asking questions," the statement says.
The headquarters stressed in a statement that the only solution to the humanitarian problems of the Rukban camp was its final disbandment and evacuation of residents to their chosen places of residence where decent living conditions have been created by the Syrian authorities.