ISIS activity is still high on the eastern bank of the Euphrats, in the area not controlled by the Syrian government, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mariya Zakharova said on March 27.
According to the statement, in the period from March 20 to March 24, ISIS terrorists carried over 20 terrorist attacks in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa and Hasakah killing about 50 people.
Zakharova recalled that on March 23 the US State Department published a statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the defeat of ISIS’ Caliphate in northeastern Syria.
“The question arises: what kind of terrorists were destroyed by the allies, if the number of ISIS members, according to US representatives, were 10,000 and remained 10,,000? Obviously, these militants simply went underground and continue their attacks with impunity,” she said.
The foreign ministry spokesperson noted that there is no doubt that the US-led coalition really defeated, or rather, razed entire cities and towns on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Before the start of the US-led operation in Raqqa in 2016, the population of the city was about 230,000 people. After the campaign ended in 2017, there were only 3,000 inhabitants.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are no hospitals in the city, and all civilian infrastructure have to be restored literally from scratch. Another mentioned fact is that there still remains a large number of blockages, unexploded ordnance and mines, Zakharova said.
She added that in 2018, Hadjin and Baguz faced a similar fate. Their residents were forced to flee to the camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) ‘al-Houl’. Then the number of people in the camp increased by 7 times – from 10,000 to 73,000 people. People there live in disastrous conditions and there is no constant humanitarian access to the camp.
Zakharova said that the similar situation in the IDP camp “Rukban”. It’s located in the area of al-Tanf illegally occupied by the US. According to she, thanks to the joint efforts of the Russian military and Syrian authorities, about 19 thousand people were evacuated from the camp. All of them have already returned to their places of permanent residence. However, several thousand people still remain in the camp. Their exit is actually blocked by members of the US-sponsored miltiant group ‘Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra’. She emphasized that in this situation the US, as the party occupying this territory, is fully responsible for the civilian population there and ensuring the corresponding humanitarian conditions.
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