Hundreds Flee US-Held Refugee Camp in Syria to Government-Controlled Areas

Middle East

Damascus has repeatedly called the US presence in the southern Syrian town of al-Tanf “illegal” and has insisted that American forces withdraw from the region immediately.

Hundreds of refugees from the US-led coalition-controlled Rukban refugee camp bordering Jordan have traveled several hundred kilometers west to the Damascus suburbs seeking assistance from Syrian authorities.

Speaking to journalists, some of the refugees said the lack of humanitarian aid drove them to make the journey west. Students from a Damascus university are helping to organize the provision of food and shelter for the refugees.

“We thought we would be saved there [at the Rukban camp] but as a result nearly died of hunger. It turned out that there was nothing there; nothing at all,” Muttrah Ramadan Houdour, one of the refugees, said. “Even the food and medicine we did have were brought to us by friends from Damascus, and we paid for it. We gave everything we had,” she added.

Others confirmed that the Rukban camp has problems with the supply of food and water.

The Rukban refugee camp is located in the Al-Tanf district in Homs province and surrounded by opposition militants. Tens of thousands of civilians fled to the area in 2014, hoping to cross into neighboring Jordan, when Daesh (ISIS)* began its assault into eastern Syria. Jordanian authorities did not let them into their territory, resulting in the creation…

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