MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Pentagon refuted on Saturday statements by the Russian Defense Ministry suggesting the US military base in Syria had been using refugees as human shields, in a comment to Sputnik.
"Not only are the allegations false, Maj Gen Konashenkov’s statement regarding the displaced Syrians in Rukban is unfortunate, given he knows both our nations share the same goal of defeating ISIS [Daesh] in Syria and returning life in the country back to normal," Public Affairs Office of CJTF-Operation Inherent Resolve, which is part of the CENTCOM, said.
The Rukban camp near the Jordanian border is home to at least 60,000 women and children who fled Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. In his Friday statement, Konashenkov also blamed the US military for stopping Syrian, UN and Jordanian humanitarian convoys from reaching the trapped camp residents.
On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that refugees living in the Rukban desert camp in southeast Syria were effectively used by the United States to shield its military base near the town of al-Tanf.