5 Apr 2019 23:35

Almost 1,000 people leave Syria's Rukban refugee camp on April 4 - Russian military

MOSCOW April 5 (Interfax) - A total of 985 civilians left the Rukban refugee camp on April 4 to proceed through the Jeleb mobile checkpoint, the head of the Russian center for reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said at a press briefing on Friday.

"All of them have been brought to temporary accommodation centers near the city of Homs. They have been provided with professional assistance they need, as well as with food and accommodation," Kupchishin said.

Meanwhile, illegal armed units continue to violate the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation area, he said.

"Over the past three days, militants have shelled the populated localities of Hara and Aleppo in the Aleppo governorate, Niha and Qrah in the Idlib governorate, Mahara and Sqalpia in the Hama governorate," Kupchishin said.

About 50,000 refugees are staying at the Rukban camp, which is situated in the at-Tanf de-escalation area that was earlier set up unilaterally by the U.S. on Syria's border with Jordan, near the U.S.' at-Tanf military base.

Moscow and Damascus said earlier that refugees held in Rukban were struggling to survive in a dire situation, experiencing major shortages of food, warm clothing and medications.

Russia is accusing the U.S. of impeding access to Rukban for international humanitarian aid and stopping refugees from leaving the camp. Russia has repeatedly called on the U.S. to withdraw its forces from the area around at-Tanf and hand over control over the territory to the Syrian government.