20:55 GMT13 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A new migration crisis is brewing in Syria, as the US and its allies provoke a humanitarian catastrophe, the joint Russia-Syria coordination centre on refugee repatriation said on Thursday ahead of the EU summit.

    Russia's Mikhail Mizintsev and Syria's Hussein Makhlouf, who head the centre, accused the US and its allies of pursuing a policy of harsh restrictions aimed at "economically strangling" Syria and isolating it from the global community. The difficult economic situation is leading to a slowdown in the return of Syrian refugees, the coordination centre added.

    "The damage that Americans and their satellites inflicted on the Syrian state is leading to a humanitarian catastrophe that could trigger a new migration crisis. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the number of Syrian citizens in need has increased, while the US and Western countries do not accept responsibility for the catastrophe", the statement read.

    The coordination centre expressed "serious concerns" over this situation emerging on the eve of an EU summit in Brussels. According to the statement, the summit will convene without the participation of the Syrian government and will actually be "used as a platform for developing new sanctions".

    "At the same time, EU representatives keep claiming commitment to Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but 'turn a blind eye to' illegal occupation of its territory and misappropriation of national wealth carried out by the US and its allies", the statement concluded.

    The civil war in Syria has been going on since 2011, with President Bashar Assad's forces fighting against various insurgent and terrorist groups. Moscow has been active in attempting to facilitate the peace process between various factions in the conflict, as well as assisting the country's return to normal life, disrupted by the hostilities.

    On 15 March, the world marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the civil conflict in Syria.

    EU, US, migration crisis, Syrian Refugees, Syrian war
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