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People in southeast Syria refugee camp living in great misery: Monitor

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows an overview of Syria’s Rukban refugee camp in a desolate area near the Jordanian and Iraqi frontier. (Via the Associated Press)

A so-called monitoring group says tens of thousands of internally displaced Syrians stranded in a refugee camp in southern Syria are facing dire conditions as food, water and medical supplies are quickly running out.

The Britain-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said people in the desolate Rukban camp near the Jordanian and Iraqi frontier have been without access to food and humanitarian materials for nine months

“Women and children are dying of extreme hunger and disease, as dozens are dying day by day,” Khalid Al Ali, a resident inside the camp, said, adding, “The humanitarian situation is deteriorating day by day. It’s catastrophic, and can be described as an old man on his death bed.”

The Observatory highlighted that the tough situation is coupled with a closed border by Jordan.

Jordan closed its border with Syria following an attack on its soldiers by Daesh Takfiri terrorists back in 2016. Earlier this week, however, Amman re-opened the Nasib border crossing with Syria for the first time in three years, as the crisis in Syria is gradually winding down thanks to the Syrian army’s decisive gains against terrorists.

The United Nations says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped inside Rukban refugee camp.

This is while Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has put the number of refugees living there closer to 60,000.

In this file picture, internally displaced gather for food aid distribution at Syria’s Rukban refugee camp in a desolate area near the Jordanian and Iraqi frontier. (By the Associated Press)

The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) warned on Tuesday that a humanitarian catastrophe would unravel if aid does not reach the camp.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported last week that two children had died due to lack of medical care. Four-month-old Huda Raslan died from malnutrition and a lack of medical access while Munaf al-Mahmoud, a one-year-old baby, died due to the lack of adequate medical care as well.

“Once again, UNICEF appeals to all parties to the conflict in Syria and those who have influence over them, to allow and facilitate access to basic services including health for children and families. This is the very minimum for human dignity,” Geert Cappelaere, the UNICEF Middle East and North Africa director, said in a statement.

The area where Rukban camp is located is controlled by the former US-backed Shuhada al-Qaryatayn militant group. The extremists were supposed to evacuate to Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in accordance with a Russian-backed deal, but refused to do so.

Syria responds to UN appeal

Meanwhile, Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, said in a statement on Wednesday that “preparations are actively ongoing for a joint UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) convoy next week to provide humanitarian assistance to an estimated 50,000 women, children and men, who are stranded at the Rukban camp.”

“The overall humanitarian situation inside the Rukban camp is at a critical stage. The UN in Syria together with SARC, will reach the camp to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance in the coming few days,” the statement noted.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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