Monday, 04 March 2019 17:32

Russia Seeking to Force People Trapped in Rukban Camp to Return to Regime-held Areas as Blockade Continues

The administration of the Rukban refugee camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border appealed to the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council, and the friends of the Syrian people to assume their humanitarian duties towards civilians trapped in the desert camp. The camp has been under tightened blockade by the Assad regime and Russian forces.

In a statement on Sunday, the administration said that Russia is further tightening the blockade on the camp with the aim of forcing the people trapped inside to return to the Assad regime-held areas.

Russia is preventing the delivery of food and fuel to the camp to increase the pressure on the people trapped inside and force them to return to the regime-held areas.

“Russia is committing a crime of genocide under international law with consequences direr than the use of chemical weapons. The International Humanitarian Law prohibits the intimidation of the civilian population," the statement said.

The administration continued: “Russia and its forces deployed in the region are directly responsible for the blockade and the humanitarian disaster as well as the worsening humanitarian situation causing diseases and hunger especially among children, women and the elderly.”

The Rukban camp has been under blockade since last June. The Assad regime forces and their Russian allies have tightened the blockade in recent weeks with the aim of forcing the people trapped inside to return to the regime-held areas.

The Syrian Coalition earlier said that Russia and the Assad regime are using the blockade as a weapon of warfare to starve civilians in the Rukban refugee camp into submission. It said that “the blockade is aimed at breaking the will of those trapped inside and sending them once again to the tender mercies of Assad regime and its allied militias.

The desert camp has been under complete blockade since June when Jordan sealed the side of border facing the camp under pressure from Russia and following the Assad regime’s closure of Al-Dumair road. The camp is home to more than 50,000 people who live in extremely dire conditions and suffer acute shortages of relief aid. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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