A spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said on March 1 that the Russian-sponsored initiatives to evacuated the civilians trapped in the al-Rukban refugee camp does not meet “protection standards”
“The U.S. supports the U.N .call for a durable solution for al-Rukban in line with protection standards and coordinated with all parties. Unilateral Russian initiatives, not coordinated with the U.N. and regional parties, do not meet these standards,” Robert Palladino said on Twitter.
The al-Rukban camp, which is located within the US-occupied area of al-Tanf in southeastern Syria, is hosting more than 45,000 displaced civilians. These civilians suffer from the shortage in water, food and the lack of proper medical care. Probably, Palladion believes that these conditions meet with the “protection standards” of the U.S.
Few hours before, Palladino’s remarks, the Damascus government sent a convoy to evacuate the civilians willing to leave the al-Rukban camp. However, the U.S. didn’t cooperate with the initiative, despite that a recent survey has shown that the vast majority of the camp’s residents want to leave.
Chief of Russia’s National Defense Control Center (NDCC) Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev had called on the U.S. to collaborate with the initiative to evacuate the al-Rukban camp.
“You [the U.S.] have to prove, with actions and not words, that you are willing to work for the good of the Syrians,” quoted Col. Gen. Mizintsev said.
Despite these efforts, the U.S. appears to be determined to keep the civilians trapped in the al-Rukban camp, likely to use them as a tool to pressure the Damascus government and justify the illegal military presence in al-Tanf.