MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Washington's ability to guarantee security for refugees seeking to return to their homes from the Rukban refugee camp is insufficient. Besides, the Americans are incapable of whipping militants into line in the US-controlled Al-Tanf zone, the heads of the Russian and Syrian inter-agency coordination headquarters, Mikhail Mizintsev and Hussein Makhlouf, said in a joint statement.
"Having scrupulously studied the situation, we have concluded that the US Al-Tanf military base is not sufficiently capable of providing security to the refugees from the Rukban camp who seek to return to their homes. The American side has fallen victim to its own destructive Syrian policy and is now unable to wield any influence over all the illegal militant clans running rampant in the occupied zone," the statement reads.
Consequently, the Syrian government is willing to guard the convoy of six humanitarian vehicles under the guidance of Syria’s security service in cooperation with Russian military police units, the chiefs of the headquarters noted.
"We suggest that the US side should take part in organizing cover for the air humanitarian op to evacuate the suffering Syrian citizens to be conducted jointly by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the US Armed Forces in the Al-Tanf zone. We strongly urge the US leadership to support this initiative and assign their representatives to follow the vehicle convoys, as well as whip the militants into line in order to ensure that the Rukban camp can be accessed without any hindrance," the statement pointed out.
Rukban refugee camp
The Rukban refugee camp emerged on the Syrian-Jordanian border in 2014 after Jordan closed its border due to security and economic concerns. The area, which is controlled by illegal armed gangs, is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.
On March 5, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a cemetery with 300 fresh graves had been discovered near the camp. According to the ministry, the camp has virtually lost its status, having morphed into a "reservation where hostages are held by force." The Russian Defense Ministry said most of the shelters in the camp were unlivable during the wintertime, with appalling sanitary conditions, and food and other goods could be purchased only at improvised outdoor bazaars controlled by terrorists.