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Syria’s Latakia ready to receive refugees from Rukban camp

Latakia’s authorities suggest allocating money from the city budget to evacuate refugees from the Rukban camp

LATAKIA, March 14. /TASS/. The Syrian city of Latakia is ready to receive refugees from the Rukban camp, head of the city’s refugee center Bashar Lakhtashmak said.

"We have prepared 30 rooms that can accommodate up to 500 people. There is everything they might need, including kitchens and showers, they will also be provided with food. This is a matter of national interest. We need to make sure that those who come here tell others they are welcome in new places of residence," he noted.

Latakia’s authorities suggest allocating money from the city budget to evacuate refugees from the Rukban camp. Six buses, sent to the border of the 55 kilometer wide zone, will be accompanied by the military. "We are sending six 50-seat buses. If necessary, we can send 20 to 30 buses more," said the regional transport department’s head.

The Syrian authorities pay much attention to the return of refugees, including those who fled from the war to other countries. Many refugees have already returned to Syria. However, about 50,000 Syrians still remain in the Al-Tanf zone. They cannot leave the Rubkan camp as it is surrounded by US-backed militants.

Meanwhile, Damascus has reiterated their readiness to provide accommodation and jobs to refugees. "We are totally ready to address all status issues refugees may face upon returning from the Rukban camp and ensure a decent life for them. All Syrians have the right to get identity documents under a simplified procedure, find jobs and lead a safe and decent life," said head of the National Reconciliation Organization Yana Haddur.

Rukban camp

The Rukban camp is located in the Al-Tanf security zone, where a US military base is stationed. Entrances to the zone are controlled by opposition militants. According to the World Health Organization, the camp currently hosts about 40,000 refugees, mostly women and children. On February 20, 2019, two mobile checkpoints were established there to allow refugees to exit the camp.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that a cemetery with 300 fresh graves had been found near the camp. According to the ministry, the cemetery can be seen on satellite photos.