On March 5, the Russian Defence Ministry released satellite images showing the situation in the Rukban refugee camp, which is located in the US-occupied part of eastern Syria, near the US military garrison of al-Tanf.
The released pictures allow to see the real living conditions in the refugee camp.
- A waste deposit is located in close proximity to the living accommodations.
- A notable part of the camp is tents and sheds, which means that no conditions allowing a permanent residence of thousands of people have been created. This is an especially acute problem during the winter.
- No subsistence warehouses or meal stations are being observed.
- Food and other goods can be get only in pop-up markets controlled by militants.
The Russian military said that US-backed militants are preventing militants from leaving the site. It said that the Rukban area is no more a refugee camp. It’s a reservation area with hostages.
The Russian side pointed out that the US military is opposing to the evacuation of civilians and spreading rumours that they will be prosecuted by the Damascus government. US-backed militants demand notable sums in USD from people who want to leave the camp.
At the same time, the statement added that about 35,000 people have declared their readiness to return to the government-controlled area. About 28,300 of them are going to return to the province of Homs, about 2,800 – to the province of Deir Ezzor, about 1,600 – Damascus province, about 1,600 – Hama province and 1,200 – Aleppo province.