“Two infants have died because of a lack of facilities and hygiene in al-Rukban Camp and the siege imposed on the refugees by the US and Maghawir al-Thawra terrorist group,” field sources in the US-occupied al-Tanf region were quoted as saying by the Arabic-language media.
The sources pointed to the US-led coalition’s continued attempts to force civilians to stay al-Rukban Camp, and said, “This situation has deteriorated the hygienic conditions of the refugees in the camp.”
Meantime, the Syria-Russia Joint Coordination Committees on Repatriation of displaced Syrians also held US responsible for the death of children in al-Rukban camp.
The two committees confirmed, in a joint statement on Saturday, that the situation in the camp, which is similar to “ghetto”, continues to deteriorate and the current dangerous health situation is a matter of serious concern.
According to the representative of the World Health Organization in Syria Elizabeth Hoff, there is no doctor in the camp and continue to develop life-threatening infectious diseases. Many cases of diarrhea, hepatitis and skin diseases have been identified in addition to the death of two children due to malnutrition, poor sanitation and infection, the statement said.
The committees’ statement clarified that the US illegally occupies al-Tanf zone and restricts the activities of international and non-governmental humanitarian organizations on the territory, using Maghawir al-Thawra terrorists.
The Syrian authorities, according to the statement, have formed and are in constant readiness of 6 car columns of comfortable buses ready to move at any time to al-Rukban camp to evacuate displaced people.
The committees once again called on the US side to show mercy and finally to open access to the occupied al-Tanf zone, to give the opportunity to take out the suffering residents of the Rukban camp, to stop their suffering and to allow them to live freely in their native places for the speedy restoration of peaceful life in Syria.
In a relevant development on Thursday, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria announced that there is a threat of outbreaks of dangerous diseases in Syria’s Rukban refugee camp, located in the US-controlled zone in Syria’s al-Tanf, since landfill and burial sites are situated close to places where refugees reside and drinking water is handed out.
“There is a trend toward the deterioration of the sanitary-epidemiological situation in the camp. According to satellite photographs, waste dumps and chaotic burial sites on the territory of the camp are situated in immediate proximity to refugees’ places of residence and sites where water is being distributed which creates a risk of outbreaks of dangerous deceases,” the center’s head Col. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin said, Sputnik reported.
He added that a humanitarian corridor had been established for the return of internally displaced persons from Syria’s al-Tanf zone to their permanent places of residence in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the camp.
The center’s head recalled that the Syrian government had undertaken to guarantee the security of temporarily displaced persons and ensure a simplified procedure for the restoration of their documents.
The Rukban camp, which is situated in the US-controlled zone surrounding its military base in al-Tanf, is believed to host around 40,000 refugees, who not only reside in unsanitary conditions, but also face spreading diseases and violence.
In January, the World Health Organization described people residing in the camp as “trapped”, adding that they live “in deplorable conditions”. Limited water supply, bitterly cold weather and poorly functioning health care facilities contribute to the rise of diseases, which include influenza, measles, tuberculosis and chronic respiratory diseases, according to the organization.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria has repeatedly slammed Washington for preventing refugees from leaving the site.