MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Illegal armed groups in Syria hamper the exit of refugees from the Rukban camp and intimidate them, the chief of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides Sergei Solomatin said on Friday.
"Illegal armed groups inside the 55-kilometer zone impede the refugees’ exit from the Rukban camp and intimidate them and breed confusion regarding the real intentions of the Russian side and Damascus," Solomatin said.
On February 19, the Russian reconciliation center and the Syrian government opened two checkpoints — Jleb and Ghurab — on the border of the 55-kilometer security zone around the US military base Al Tanf. Teams of Syrian Arab Red Crescent are on duty at the checkpoints alongside Russian military personnel.
"The Russian center for reconciliation is calling upon the US side to exert pressure on the leaders of opposition groups and prevent disruption of the evacuation of civilians from the Rukban camp," Solomatin said.
The Syrian authorities continue to amnesty draft dodgers, including refugees and former members of illegal armed groups. As of February 21, 54,941 people have been amnestied. Refugees are also returning home. As of February 21, 223,071 people had returned home.
"Efforts continue to provide assistance in restoring infrastructure and creating conditions for the refugees returning home. As at February 21, 31,265 apartment buildings, 816 educational and 139 medical facilities had been restored and 1,008.8 kilometers of roads repaired," Solomatin said.