16 November 2018 — South Front
The US is responsible for the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp in southern Syria because it has illegally occupied this territory, the Russian Defense Ministry says.
“The whole responsibility for the outrageous situation in Rukban rests with the United States, as it occupies the territory illegally and it uses the humanitarian problems of the refugee camp to legitimize its military presence in the south of Syria. We believe that the elimination of a 55-kilometer [34 mile] zone around At-Tanf [mear a US military garrison] will result in the closure of the Rukban camp,” representative of the Russian Defense Ministry in taskforces on ceasefire and humanitarian issues in Geneva Yury Tarasov said on November 16.
“As of today, one of the most urgent problems is the situation in the Rukban refugee camp, which is in an extremely difficult humanitarian situation. I want to note that the total number of temporarily displaced people in it is about 50,000 people, of which about 6,000 are militants of the Maghawir Al-Thawra group controlled by the US.“
Tarasov noted that the Russian side was ready to cooperate with international organizations on settling the Rukban camp humanitarian crisis and on evacuating all the refugees willing to leave it.
Head of the Russian National Defense Control Center Mikhail Mizintsev compared the situation in the Rukban refugee camp with World War II concentration camps.
“The situation in which the residents of the camp have found themselves in reminds me very much of World War II concentration camps that seemed to have long become history. How have this become possible in the modern world?… Why does the global community, so much concerned about human rights, stubbornly keep silent about the humanitarian catastrophe of the Rukban camp residents, while they are in fact hostages?” he said at a meeting of Russian and Syrian joint coordination committees on repatriation of refugees.
“Why are not media representatives allowed to communicate with refugees living in Rukban? There is an explanation to it. Someone has something to conceal there. Who is responsible for this barbarity? The answer is on the surface”
He further noted that UN official institutions were not actively engaged in settling the humanitarian catastrophe of the Syrian refugees there.
The “defense” of the Rubkan refugee camp as well as the “war on ISIS” are two main official justifications used by the US to explain its illegal military presence in this area.