"Illegal armed groups operating in the area [spanning] 55 kilometers [34 miles] are preventing the civilians from leaving the Rukban camp", Solomatin told a briefing.
According to earlier statements, two checkpoints were opened last Tuesday to facilitate the refugees' withdrawal from the Rukban camp, which lies in the area controlled by the United States. Soldiers from the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria and crews of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are working at the checkpoints, and are prepared to provide assistance for those who want to leave the camp.
The Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian Reconciliation has called on the United States to put pressure on the leadership of opposition groups and prevent them from disrupting the evacuation of civilians from the camp.
The situation in the Rukban camp, which is situated within the US-controlled zone surrounding its military base in At-Tanf, has become increasingly dire as refugees residing there have not been regularly receiving sufficient amounts of humanitarian aid.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the government forces fighting against numerous opposition groups and militant and terrorist organizations. Russia, along with Turkey and Iran, is a guarantor of the ceasefire regime in Syria. Moscow has also been providing humanitarian aid to residents of the crisis-torn country.