Russia Urges US, Militant Leaders to Stop Holding Refugees in Rukban Camp - MoD

© AP Photopeople gather to take basic food stuffs and other aid from community leaders at Rukban refugee camp
people gather to take basic food stuffs and other aid from community leaders at Rukban refugee camp - Sputnik International
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According to the Russian military, various militants are keeping people in the camp by force, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has previously noted that terrorists and smugglers in the area are using innocent people as human shields.

"We call on the American command and leaders of illegal militant groups in the al-Tanf zone to at least stop forcibly keeping women and children most affected by cold, illness and malnutrition in the camp. All of them will be given necessary assistance", Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said Friday.

According to him, Russia and Syria will establish a temporary housing area for refugees from the camp.

"To save the refugees of the Rukban camp, the Russian centre for Syrian reconciliation, jointly with Syria's government, from February 19, 2019… will deploy temporary accommodation centres equipped with warm housing and provided with hot meals, other essentials and medical personnel… All refugees will be provided with motor transport for unimpeded and safe travel to their places of residence in the territory controlled by the Syrian government", he said.

READ MORE: Terrorists in Rukban Camp Use Civilians as Human Shields — UN Refugee Agency

Syrian refugee patients from the makeshift Rukban camp, which lies in no-man's-land off the border between Syria and Jordan in the remote northeast, cross over to visit a UN-operated medical clinic immediately on the Jordanian-side for checkups, on March 1, 2017 - Sputnik International
Moscow Says Situation in Syrian Rukban Camp Reminds of WWII Death Camps
The Rukban refugee camp is located near the Syrian-Jordan border in the zone of responsibility of the US al-Tanf base. Russia has accused the US base of providing a safe haven for terrorists, who have later launched attacks on the positions of the Syrian army. According to various estimates, there are at least 50,000 people inside the 55-kilometre security zone occupied by the United States.

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