MOSCOW/DAMASCUS – Russia and Syria urge the international community to compel the United States to completely withdraw its troops from the Syrian territory, the joint coordination committees said on Thursday in a statement on the humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp.
According to the statement, the US is still occupying a 34-mile area around the Al-Tanf military base and opposes the disbandment of Rukban, RIA Novosti reported. The statement cites that the United States’ reluctance to guarantee safety in that territory as the main reason for the suspension of the United Nations’ plan for evacuating the camp’s residents.
“It is precisely the unlawful presence of the US and its allies on the territory of the sovereign state that undermines the restoration of the lawful government’s control over the country’s entire territory, it is the main destabilizing factor on the path to Syria’s rebirth, We call on the entire international community to pressure the United States, which keeps violating the norms of the international law with its presence on illegally occupied Syrian territories, and compel it to pull out the entire [US] force from the sovereign Syria,” the committees added.
Russia has repeatedly raised alarm over the plight of the camps’ inhabitants.
In particular, the Russian reconciliation center and the Syrian government have been assisting those wishing to leave the Rukban camp, with over 17,000 civilians already evacuated, the Russian mission to the UN stated back in August.
The World Health Organization has described the individuals residing in the camp as “trapped” and the environment in which they live as “deplorable”.