Statement of the Joint Coordination Headquarters of Russia and Syria on the problems of the return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons in the context of the spread of coronavirus infection
by Joint Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic
“On the problems of the repatriation of the Syrian refugees and IDPs in the COVID-19 environment”
(March 01, 2021)
Considerable efforts have been made by the Russian and Syrian Joint Coordination Committees in rebuilding of the peaceful life in Syria and providing comprehensive assistance to Syrian citizens for their voluntary and secure repatriation.
As of today 2 222 960 Syrian citizens returned to the places of their chosen residence, as a result of the joint activity. The Syrian government is taking all possible measures for the prompt repatriation and adaptation of Syrians, thus creating decent living conditions, opening new jobs, rebuilding infrastructure and social facilities.
At that, special attention is given to the anti-epidemic measures and medical institutions recovery. Health care centres in the provinces are being reopened with all the necessary equipment, including medical storage refrigerators, mobile operating rooms, ambulances and UPS generators.
Moreover, Syrian President Bashar Assad has signed decrees on opening of professional training centers for the construction sector and of a Higher Institute of cinematic arts in Damascus, with an aim to provide the labor market with qualified professional personnel for the industrial and cultural revival of Syria.
A number of foreign leaders, seeing the positive results of the Syrian government's activity, are taking steps in assisting Syrian families who voluntarily decided to be repatriated.
Unfortunately, not all countries are ready to objectively assess the migration policy pursued by the Syrian administration, openly preventing the return of Syrian refugees. In particular, the USA continues to pursue inhumane sanctions policy against the long-suffering people of Syria under the coronavirus conditions. Moreover, Americans are exerting pressure on the countries in the region with the largest refugee populations, making them to intimidate Syrian refugees with the allegedly difficult domestic political, social and economic situation back at home and with many problems faced by families who have already returned to their pre-war residents.
Furthermore, the United States conduct air strikes on the territory of Syria and continue to occupy its territory. At that, there is no hint of rebuilding the safe and decent peaceful life in the territories under their control.
According to the United Nations, the Al-Hol camp in the United States-controlled territory of Trans-Eurates has seen a degradation of its crime situation and a real failure of its administration to ensure the safety of its refugees. An increase in violence against vulnerable IDPs has been recently noted, accompanied by torture and exemplary executions.
The study of the situation around the Rukban camp for IDPs in the US-occupied 55-kilometer area near Al-Tanf shows that the United States is using the situation to put pressure on the UN leadership, regularly raising the issue of the need to deliver humanitarian aid to the camp residents. At the same time, the Americans actually are expecting to use this cargo to supply the fighters under their control and operating in this area, as it has happened more than once.
We emphasize that the responsibility for everything that happens within the US occupied area and within the Rukban camp, including water, food and first necessity articles supply for the camp residents, until its restitution under the control of the Syrian government, lies exclusively with the American party.
At the same time, the US obstruction to dismantle the camp in fact is the main obstacle to the rebuilding of sovereignty and peaceful life in the Syrian Arab Republic that needs to be solved as soon as possible. The Syrian authorities are ready to get back all citizens held in Rukban on government-controlled territory, provide them with security and decent living conditions.
The reluctance of the USA to remove fighters of illegal armed groups from the Al-Tanf area, that stay under their control confirms that the USA is interested in keeping the camp and their true intention regarding the Rukban camp lies within supporting the "conveyor" for training extremists in order to maintain hotbeds of tension in Syria.
We call upon the world community, and above all the countries of the Middle East region, to strongly denounce the actions of the United States and its allies, who continue to illegally control significant Syrian territories, including the refugee camps, which, along with the ongoing anti-Syrian sanctions policy, is the main cause of the economic crisis that stimulates terrorist activity in the Syrian Arab Republic and in the whole region.
It is recalled that the only long-term solution in Syria is the transition of all territories under the control of the legitimate Syrian government.
Head of the Russian Joint Coordination Committee on Repatriation of Syrian Refugees - Head of National Center for the State Defense Control of the Russian Federation
Head of the Syrian Joint Coordination Committee on Repatriation of Syrian Refugees - Minister of Local Administration and Environment of the Syrian Arab Republic