18 Sep 2019 13:48

U.S. actions thwart plan to shut down Al-Rukban refugee camp - Russian military

MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) - Washington's destructive actions are hindering the closure of the Syrian refugee camp in Al-Rukban, according to Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of Russia's National Defense Management Center.

"The urgent need to conduct today's emergency joint meeting of the interagency coordination task forces of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic was prompted by the United States' unilateral destructive actions creating all kinds of impediments to the implementation, jointly with the United Nations, of an urgent plan to shut down the Al-Rukban refugee camp in the interest of saving Syrian civilians," Mizintsev said.

Another proof of the U.S. destructive policy in Syria is the Al-Hawl refugee camp, also located in the part of Syria which has been illegally occupied by U.S. troops, he said.

"We have yet to see constructive U.S. steps to dismantle this cesspool of extremism where the humanitarian situation is considerably worse than that in Al-Rukban," Mizintsev said.

According to the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross, there are over 68,000 refugees at Al-Hawl, about 80% of them nationals of over 70 countries, he said.

He also noted the situation in Al-Raqqah where "the humanitarian disaster continues with tacit inaction on America's part."

"The city was obliterated by international coalition bombers and is in a U.S.-occupied area. There are still no efforts to restore it, no large-scale demining is being carried out," Mizintsev said.

Russia and Syria, jointly with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, did a colossal job of bringing the remaining residents of this camp back to their homes.

"For the purpose of a swift return to peaceful life, the pace of infrastructure and social reconstruction is increasing across the country. A total of 33,663 social facilities and 14,427 industrial installations have been repaired and re-opened in various parts of Syria," Mizintsev said.

The high effectiveness of Syrian government measures is also proved by the returning refugee statistics, he said.

"More than 1,937,000 Syrians, including over 1,304,000 of those internally displaced and over 633,000 refugees who fled abroad have returned to their homes since September 30, 2015," Mizintsev said.