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Terrorists seize up to 90% of humanitarian aid in Syria’s Rukban camp, says ex-militant

The US soldiers working at the At Tanf base in Syria actively cooperate with the Islamic State, says Abu Hamzi, a former militant commander who surrendered to the government forces

PALMYRA/, May 19. /TASS/. Refugees in Syria’s Rukban camp receive only 10% of the international humanitarian aid, the rest is being sold by the Islamic State terrorists, controlled by the US military, says Abu Hamzi, a 34-year old former militant commander who surrendered to the Syrian Army.

"The Islamic State militants have food with UNICEF [UN Children's Fund] stickers," Abu Hamzi said. "They traded it. Initially, this food was dumped behind the mound, and then the militants took it, loaded it into the vehicles and shipped it to an unknown location. […] Only 10% [of the aid] is given to the refugees."

He disclosed that he saw a group of 30 to 40 Islamic State members trained by the US soldiers at the At Tanf base. Some radicals were let go for unknown reasons, they were allowed "to move wherever they wanted." Besides, Abu Hamzi saw a number of terrorists he had personally captured and handed over to the Americans, free and working for the US military.

The ex-commander also revealed how he became a militant himself. Before the war in Syria, he lived in the al-Suweida city, the center of the Suweida province, breeding cattle. When Islamic State captured the province, he and his friends decided to flee. However, fleeing the terrorist-controlled territory was impossible, and he had to cooperate with the Jaysh Ahrar al-Ashayer group to save his own life. He was sent to Jordan for training, and later relocated to the Rukban camp, being told that he will now "fight against the Islamic State from this side."

According to Abu Hamzi, the US soldiers working at the At Tanf base in Syria actively cooperate with the Islamic State and consider themselves owners of the land they occupy.

"The Americans consider it to be their own land. They [behave] like kings there. Captain Mike, all of them are the same," Abu Hamzi said in an interview. "They cooperate with Islamic State militants. They worked with Islamic State members; […] they train them and work with them even now."

Captain Mike, mentioned by Abu Hamzi, was the militant’s trainer. The ex-militant spoke well of him, saying the American "was always cheerful." Besides, according to the surrendered militant, the instructor "has no idea" about what use the US supervisors have found for the militants, "he only knows how to use the guns" and teaches that. In particular, the US captain taught the Syrian the specifics of working with the US-made high-caliber machineguns.

Abu Hamzi disclosed that his instructor drove a Hummer vehicle, while the militants are provided by the US with Toyota Land Cruiser pickup trucks. Earlier, the pickups had 6-cylinder engines, but now they have eight cylinders. Such trucks are given to the field commanders only, he said, adding that the commander always rides in the front passenger seat, while the guards ride in the back.

Earlier, a group of extremists who underwent training at the US military base in Syria’s At Tanf near the Jordanian border, fled and surrendered to the government forces. An entire unit abandoned their outpost back then. The militants boarded their pickup trucks, taking weapons and food with them. During their transition, they came under attack from the US-controlled radicals and lost three cars; 27 people managed to escape. The surrendered militants had been trained by the American instructors to perform sabotage at the transport and the oil and gas facilities, as well as terror attacks on the territory, controlled by Damascus.