The US prevents refugees from leaving al-Rukban camp in Syria

Summary

The Russian initiative to evacuate al-Rukban camp has been blocked as the United States consistently refuses foreign access and has ignored an international coordination conference. The responsibility for the humanitarian crisis falls solely on the US forces.

Disproof

Russia has routinely accused the US of manufacturing the humanitarian crisis in Rukban since 2017. However, a report delivered jointly by the UN, WHO, and the Red Cross states that the situation in the camp has been dire since its spontaneous creation in 2014, three years before the US-led coalition opened a military base in the area.

Moscow's claim that the refugees are trapped in Rukban due to US "occupation" is false. Leaving the area to the south became impossible with the closure of the Syria-Jordan border in 2016. The current US stance is to encourage, but not compel, the refugees to remain inside the camp. A spokesperson for refugees in Rukban camp has denied allegations by Russia that the US detains them in the area and cited the "Russian siege" as the cause of their plight, confirming earlier reports on the issue.

The opening in February 2019 of Russian-Syrian "humanitarian corridors" out of Rukban was thus met with no opposition from the US. However, the corridors were shut down within 24 hours as none of the refugees showed up to use them, fearing the prospect of persecution and forced conscription in regime-controlled areas of the country, as has been the case in "liberated" East Ghouta.

On the last meeting in the United Nations, the situation with the Rukban refugee camp was discussed. The US representative, Jonathan R. Cohen, claims that the food delivered to Rukban last month has already run out, he called for a third humanitarian convoy and urged the Russian Federation to allow delivery. He stressed that Russia didn't give access to accurate information about the situation in the camp.

Read more cases on the Al Rukban refugee camp here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: United States, Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: Refugees, Syrian War
  • Outlet: Vremya (24:06) @ Channel One TV
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