Thousands of residents of US-controlled Al-Rukban Refugee Camp in Homs province have fled to safe areas under the Syrian Army’s control, the Arabic-language media sources said.
The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that hundreds of new Syrian families have managed to escape al-Rukban in al-Tanf Region in Eastern Homs near the border with Iraq via Jaliqam crossing.
The newspaper also quoted special sources as saying that 25 percent of al-Rukban residents, amounting to 12,500 residents, most of them women and children, have managed to flee the camp.
The sources, meantime, pointed to a call by a large number of civilians to exit the camp, and said that more civilians plan escape from al-Rukban in the coming days.
In a relevant development late last Month, al-Watan 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”.
The sources said the exit of the civilians came after terrorists sought to block their departure from the camp.
The families who have escaped al-Rukban have confirmed lack of food and hygiene in the camp, adding that the US-backed terrorists keep people hungry and prevent their evacuation, al-Watan said.
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.