3 Nov 2017 13:55

U.S. actions near Syria's Al-Tanf should be addressed by UN Security Council - Russian MP

MOSCOW. Nov 3 (Interfax) - The establishment of a 55-km closed zone around the U.S. base in the area of the Syrian town of Al-Tanf and the blocking of humanitarian aid to refugees are absolutely illegal and need to be addressed by the UN Security Council, Yury Shvytkin, deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, told Interfax.

"There are no grounds to establish this 55-kilometer zone around the base, which the U.S. also deployed illegally. The grounds are a 'cabin order,' to use military language," Shvytkin of United Russia said on Friday.

Such an approach "contradicts international law," he said.

"This situation gives us reasons to raise the issue in the UN Security Council, bearing in mind that there is information that people are being held illegally at this base, and wounded people and refugees are not being provided with medical and humanitarian assistance," Shvytkin said.

"This situation contradicts the Astana agreements, not to mention international law in general," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that Syrian refugees in the Al-Tanf area, where a U.S. military base is located, cannot receive humanitarian assistance.

"Thousands of Syrian refugees in the tent city of Al Rukban, located near the base, cannot receive humanitarian assistance; this is the fault of the U.S., which deployed its military base there with a ban on coming closer than 55 kilometers to it under the threat of elimination," the Russian center for reconciliation said.

"Such actions by the U.S. military and the so-called international coalition in the Al-Tanf area" are a massive violation of international humanitarian law and can be classed as a war crime, the center said.