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US disrupts operation to evacuate refugees from Rukban camp, says Russian-Syrian statement

The two countries’ representatives demanded that the US leave the occupied territory of Syria and let the legitimate Syrian government drive terrorists out of the area

MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. The command of the al-Tanf US military base has disrupted the operation to evacuate refugees from the Rukban camp, the Russian and Syrian Joint Coordination Committees on the Repatriation of Syrian Refugees said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement noted that the plan provided for evacuating from 2,000 to 2,500 Syrians during five-day cycles until the final evacuation of all civilians willing to leave the camp. "However, due to the Americans’ failure to honor their commitments, the implementation of this stage was disrupted," the Russian and Syrian representative stressed.

"According to civilians who were able to escape Rukban, the so-called administration, which, in actual fact, consists of members of the US-controlled armed gangs, has taken energetic efforts to prevent refugees from leaving the camp and prohibit Rukban’s residents to leave it under the threat of death," the statement reads. The Russian and Syrian representatives stressed that the responsibility for the current situation, including the dire humanitarian situation in the camp, "lies entirely with the command of the American troops in the al-Tanf zone."

They noted that Syria’s authorities had "so far been able to rescue and return to their homes half of the residents of that ‘death camp’ (about 18,000 Syrians). "That process was launched solely thanks to the Syrian-Russian efforts," they stressed.

Appeal to the UN

The two countries’ representatives demanded that the US leave the occupied territory of Syria and let the legitimate Syrian government drive terrorists out of the area. They also urged the UN regional representatives to evaluate the United States’ actions.

"We call on the relevant United Nations agencies to take all possible measures to honor their commitments to rescue Syrian citizens and complete the operation before the onset of cold weather. We believe the only way to rebuild Syria is through the final elimination of terrorism, liberation of all territories of the country illegally occupied by the US and its allies and Syrians’ return to their homes," they stressed.

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