About 300 civilians stationed in al-Rukban Refugee Camp in al-Tanf region of Homs province fled incarceration to safe areas under the control of the Syrian Army in Eastern Homs via Jaliqam crossing, the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted special sources as saying.
The civilians leaving the camp pointed to the very difficult conditions at al-Rukban Camp and acute shortage of foodstuff, potable water and hygienic products, and said that the US humiliates civilians, starves them and deprives them of humanitarian aids dispatched to the camp in a move to make them obedient.
Meantime, the Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with a group of the ISIL terrorists who had attacked the government forces’ military convoy in Badiyeh al-Sukhneh region in Eastern Homs, killing and injuring all terrorists after warding off their attack.
Meantime, the Syrian Air Force in consecutive attacks pounded the ISIL’s movements near T3 Station, around Baiyeh al-Sukhneh and in desert regions stretching to the administrative border with Deir Ezzur, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.
In a relevant development late April, Al-Watan newspaper reported that “there are around 40,000 to 60,000 people residing in al-Rukban Camp and about 2,500 of them have managed to leave the camp”.
Based on media reports, the US troops that occupy a 55-km zone in Southern Syria block Russian and Syrian diplomatic and military officials from entering al-Rukban Camp to provide people with humanitarian aid.
The US command in Al-Tanf had previously delayed the delivery of aid to al-Rukban from Damascus, after refusing to guarantee its safety. It has also prevented buses sent by Damascus and guarded by the Russian military police from taking Syrians from the camp to other parts of Syria.
Since opening in 2014, Rukban is home to more than 40,000 Syrians, the majority of which have expressed a desire to return home. A survey released by the UN in February found that nine out of 10 living at the camp wanted to return. However, many expressed worry over gaining access to their property, possible retribution, as well as general safety and security concerns.