11 Mar 2019 11:49

Russia, Syria ready to work with U.S. on evacuating sick, old people, women and children from Rukban camp

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - Russia and Syria are offering to the United States to work together to evacuate sick and sold people, women and children from the camp Rukban.

"As the first step and a good will gesture, we suggest that all parties work together to immediately evacuate from the camp the most suffering people: the sick, old people, women and children," the Russian and Syrian coordination headquarters on the return of refugees said in a joint statement.

"We do hope for a constructive position of the U.S. side on the solution of this important issue," the statement said.

Residents of the camp Rukban still cannot return home due to harsh counteraction from the U.S., the statement said. U.S. officials say they are not restricting refugees' departure and they are calling all reports by Russia and Syria that people are forcibly held and there is a humanitarian disaster in the camp propaganda.

"In this situation, we are calling on the entire civilized world community to initiate on all international and intra-state sites a discussion of the problems of the camp Rukban associated with the catastrophic situation of the Syrians who are there. And we are calling on our U.S. partners to have immediate and substantive dialogue on the measures and specific decisions to save the residents of the camp, who are practically in a 'ghetto' and are forcibly deprived of freedom," the joint statement said.

According to earlier reports, there are some 50,000 refugees in the camp Rukban. The camp is located in the de-escalation zone Al-Tanf (Syrian-Jordanian border, near the U.S. base Al-Tanf), which was unilaterally created by the U.S.

Moscow repeatedly accused Washington of preventing the access of international humanitarian assistance to this camp and called on the U.S. to immediately withdraw its troops from the area around Al-Tanf and put the Syrian government in charge of this territory.