DAMASCUS, JAN 18 — The “illegal presence” of the U.S. forces is preventing the delivery of relief aid to 50,000 refugees in the Rukban Camp in southern Syria, state news agency SANA said Friday.
The agency, which is the mouthpiece for the Syrian government, said the conditions of the Syrian refugees in Rukban Camp are getting more complicated by the illegal U.S. presence in the al-Tanf area in southern Syria.
The report comes a couple of days after 15 children, mostly toddlers, died in the camp from the severely low temperatures in that area.
SANA said the Syrian government has exerted efforts to open safe passages for the refugees to leave the camp to government-controlled areas.
The Rukban Camp, located near the Jordanian border, is controlled by rebel groups which were supposed to leave for rebel-held areas in Idlib.
SANA said the rebels are taking the civilians in the camp as human shields.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement on Jan. 15 that “freezing temperatures and harsh living conditions in Rukban … are increasingly putting children’s lives at risk.”
“Needs for assistance in Rukban are beyond urgent. They are extremely acute and have become a matter of life and death,” the UNICEF said.
Meanwhile, the UNICEF called on all parties to the conflict and those with influence over them to provide safe passages for all families seeking safety out of the line of fire. – XINHUA