Syrian highlights efforts to return displaced people home
The Syrian government is exerting efforts to return displaced people home amid reports of rebels recruiting displaced people for further attacks, Syria’s state news agency SANA said Monday.
It said a new batch of civilians reached government areas on Monday coming from the al-Rukban camp in the rebel-held areas southeast of Syria.
It said hundreds of people, mostly women, children and elders, reached the Homs area in central Syria on Monday through a crossing point designated for that purpose.
A medical point and teams of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) were providing medical services to the people, according to the report.
For its side, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that as many as 1,000 people left the al-Rukban camp in southeastern Syria on Monday to government-controlled areas in Homs.
With the latest batch, a total of 3,100 people have already left al-Rukban to government areas in the central province of Homs, said the UK-based watchdog group.
The Rukban camp is home to 50,000 displaced Syrians, who are suffering from the harsh humanitarian situation because of the cold weather and lack of supplies.
The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the U.S. forces in the al-Tanf area near the camp of preventing aid convoys from reaching the Rukban camp, which is controlled by the rebels near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
On Feb. 19, the Syrian government opened two humanitarian corridors near al-Tanf for the evacuation of people from Rukban.
Earlier in the day, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper said in a report that the rebel group “Jaish Maghawir al-Thawra,” which is backed by the United States, has started recruiting young men from the camp.
It cited opposition reports as saying that those new recruits are receiving “intensive military training.”
The report said the rebels’ upcoming plan could be launching an offensive on the cities of al-Bukamal and al-Mayadeen to take them out of the government control in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria.
It is worth noting that the al-Tanf area near the Iraqi and Jordanian border is located in the remote eastern countryside of Homs in the desert region which is connected to the al-Bukamal and al-Mayadeen cities in eastern Deir al-Zour near the Iraqi border.