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SEPTEMBER 2020

U.S.-Affiliated Activist Confirms Al-Tanaf Militants Steal Aid To Al-Rukban Refugees

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U.S.-Affiliated Activist Confirms Al-Tanaf Militants Steal Aid To Al-Rukban Refugees

Rukban refugee camp. IMAGE: AP Photo

The U.S.-backed Revolutionary Commando Army (MaT) are stealing the UN aid to the refugees in the al-Rukban Camp, Mzahem Alsaloum, the former spokesman for the defunct U.S.-backed New Syrian Army (SNA), revealed on April 24.

In a series of tweets, Alsaloum said MaT commanders plotted to steal a new batch of aid by establishing a committee loyal to them and presenting it to the UN as the “elderly” of the al-Rukban Camp.

The fake elderly committee submitted a list filled with fake names of refugees, demanding the UN to double the aid set to be sent to the camp.

Alsaloum confirmed that the MaT plot was uncovered by the Russian side, which temporary blocked the delivery of aid to the refugee camp. The coordination headquarters of Russia and Syria first revealed the plot in a statement released earlier this week.

“The humanitarian crisis of Rukban Camp has been exacerbated by the corrupted leaders of the U.S.-backed MaT,” the activist acknowledged in one of his tweet.

According to Alsaloum, MaT commander Uqbah al-Batah, who is also the head of the supplying department in the U.S.-occupied 55 km zone, is responsible for selling UN aid and selling it to ISIS cells in the nearby Homs desert.

Alsaloum also accused the commander of smuggling two thirds of the aid sent to the 55 km zone to ISIS as well as of being involved in the sale of U.S.-supplied weapons and drugs to the terrorist group and Iranian forces.

Al-Batah was reportedly a commander in ISIS. Prior to that, he worked with an al-Qaeda-affiliated faction. The U.S.-led coalition expelled the commander a few years ago after discovering that he previously planned an attack on American troops and was involved in war crimes. However, the coalition appointed a new command for al-Tanaf, which allowed al-Batah to return.

The information revealed by Alsaloum, who worked with U.S.-led coalition forces in al-Tanf, are not a surprise. Russia and Damascus have been warning from U.S.-backed militants in the region for years now.

As for now, the al-Rukban Camp, which hosts around 40,000 civilians, remain under the control of these militants who are protected and supported by the U.S. military.

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