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Russia’s top brass proposes setting up humanitarian corridors in Syria

A daily humanitarian pause will be declared in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta starting February 27

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has proposed setting up humanitarian corridors in the al-Tanf and Rukban areas for civilians’ free exit, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.

"Being aware that Eastern Ghouta is not the sole trouble spot on the territory of Syria with regard to civilians and refugees, we know that the Rukban refugee camp controlled by the US is located in al-Tanf. We propose organizing the same humanitarian corridors and humanitarian pauses in the al Tanf and Rukban areas as well so that civilians can freely return to their homes and start restoring peaceful life," the defense minister said at the ministry’s board meeting. 

A daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 will be declared in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta starting from February 27, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Monday, adding that a humanitarian corridor for civilians would be set up.

"The day before yesterday, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2401," he said. "At the Russian president’s order, a humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 will be declared in Eastern Ghouta starting from tomorrow, February 27, in order to prevent civilian casualties. A humanitarian corridor will be set up so that civilians can leave the area. The relevant coordinates will be prepared and announced shortly," Shoigu said, addressing the Defense Ministry’s board meeting.

According to him, Eastern Ghouta is not the only hotbed of tension in Syria where civilians are in danger. "We know that there is a refugee camp in Al-Tanf, which is controlled by the United States. There are plans to set up humanitarian corridors and declare humanitarian pauses in the Al-Tanf area as well, so that civilians can return to their homes and start rebuilding their lives in peace," the Russian defense minister pointed out.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding that the parties to the Syrian conflict stop military activities for at least 30 days so that humanitarian aid can be provided to civilians. All the 15 Security Council member states, including Russia, supported the document. According to the resolution, the ceasefire will not be applied to military operations against the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist groups.

The 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which opened in Geneva on Monday, will consider the human rights situation in more than 30 countries, including Ukraine, Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar, Burundi, North Korea and Yemen. During the four-week session, participants will assess issues such as the protection of children in armed conflicts, ways to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the fight against racism and racial discrimination.