1,500 Families in Rukban Camp Face Certain Death if Not Evacuated

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Syrian expert warned that 1,500 families who have been taken hostage by the US and its affiliated militants in al-Rukban camp in al-Tanf region of Syria are facing death conditions.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted Mahmoud Salih as saying on Sunday that nearly 60,000 people were stationed in Rukban camp at the border with Iraq but the number has decreased to 45,000 after thousands of them managed to flee the region.

He added that tens of elderly people and children have died of the critical hygiene and health conditions in the camp, warning that 1,500 families who have been taken hostage in Rukban are facing the danger of hunger, different diseases and death.

Salih said that the US forces and affiliated militants block distribution of any humanitarian aid sent by the international organizations among Rukban residents, adding that the Syrian government and Russian forces’ efforts to dispatch aid to the camp through international bodies have also failed.

According to field reports, residents of Rukban are attempting to flee from the camp, while terrorists are demanding $2,000 for each person who intends to receive the permission for leaving the camp.

In a relevant development last week, Russian satellites’ images uncovered new burial sites at the Rukban refugee camp in Syria, located on the US-controlled territory, with the overall number of graves reaching 700, the Russian and Syrian inter-agency coordination headquarters said in a joint statement.

“We have found three more illegal cemeteries located at the camp in direct proximity to the houses and water points, which are another source of spreading infectious diseases. Nearly 700 graves have been found in the uncovered burial sites,” the statement noted last Tuesday.

It recalled that earlier a cemetery with at least 300 graves had been uncovered at the camp.

“In fact, the real situation could be even worse because several bodies of Syrians who died at the Rukban camp may have been buried in many graves,” It stressed, noting that the humanitarian situation at the camp continues deteriorating.

The United States is still hindering Russian and Syrian efforts on improving the situation of refugees. The Defense Ministry has once again called on the US and the United States to review their positions on the camp, noting that the Syrian authorities are ready to evacuate citizens and bring them back to their places of permanent residence.

The Rukban refugee camp emerged on the Syrian-Jordanian border in 2014 after Amman closed its border due to security and economic concerns. The area, which is controlled by illegal armed groups, is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.

In February, two mobile checkpoints Jleighem and Jebel al-Gurab were set up for evacuating refugees from the Rukban camp, which is located within the 55-km zone around the US al-Tanf base.