Over 220,000 Syrian refugees return home with support of Russian military

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© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Over 220,000 Syrian refugees have returned to their places of previous residence with the support of the Russian military, head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria Sergey Solomatin told reporters.

“The return of refugees to their previous places of residence continues. With the aid of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria, ten checkpoints have been opened, including one airborne and one maritime checkpoint. As of February 20, 2019, 222,884 people have returned home,” Solomatin said.

He added that as of February 20, 2019, two mobile checkpoints are now functioning near the Rukban camp in Syria, inside the 55-kilometer zone around the Al-Tanf US military base.

Along with the Russian military, members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are stationed at the checkpoints, ready to provide medical aid to refugees leaving the Rukban camp.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that refugees at the Rukban camp find themselves “in inhumane conditions”, and urged to release at least women and children from the camp.

The Rukban refugee camp is located near the town of Al-Tanf in Homs province, 20 kilometers from a US military base, near which the American armed forces had earlier trained the militants of the Syrian opposition. In 2014, when the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) terrorists began their invasion of Syria, tens of thousands of Syrians from the eastern provinces fled to the Al-Tanf area hoping to cross into Jordan. However, the Jordanian authorities shut the border for security reasons as well as due to economic difficulties. This is how the Rukban refugee camp emerged. According to the World Health Organization, about 40,000 people currently live there.

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