Middle East, Europe

Russia urges shutdown of US, YPG-held camps in Syria

Russian Defense Ministry says every day of delay costs lives of up to 10 people in refugee camps

Elena Teslova   | 22.05.2019
Russia urges shutdown of US, YPG-held camps in Syria


Moscow urged Washington on Wednesday to shut down two refugee camps located in Syrian territories currently under the control of U.S. troops.

Every day of delay in disbanding the Al-Hol and Al-Rukban camps costs up to 10 lives, Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia's National Defense Management Center told reporters in Moscow.

"We call on the American side to allow the return of [refugees held in] Rukban and al-Hol to their native homes, to eliminate these camps forever, to free the territories in Al-Tanf [southeastern Syria] on the left bank of the Euphrates river," he said.

Since April 2017, the YPG/PKK terror group has placed civilians fleeing Daesh terrorists and the family members of Daesh in the Al-Hol camp.

According to UN assessments last March, the humanitarian situation in the Hol and Rukban camps was "desperate", with UNICEF reporting the deaths of 60 children in Hol and about 20 in Rukban since January 2019.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

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