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US spending millions on White Helmets while preventing aid to Syria’s Rukban camp: Damascus, Moscow

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)
Members of the the so-called civil defense group White Helmets carry a wounded person following reported shelling in the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of Syria’s militant-held northern province of Idlib on February 26, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The Russian and Syrian coordination centers on returning refugees have censured the US over its latest decision to provide millions of dollars to the Western-backed White Helmets “aid” group, while preventing aid from reaching a refugee camp in southern Syria.

The centers said in a joint statement released on Tuesday that the United States had pledged $5 million in donation to the Western-backed group, which has been repeatedly accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging false-flag gas attacks, at the third Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” in Brussels, Belgium, earlier this month.

During the conference, the EU also pledged €8 billion and the US $400 million in so-called aid to Syrian refugees.

“This aid will not reach Syrian people; but will rather end up in the hands of White Helmets terrorists to fund their acts of fabricating incidents involving toxic chemicals,” the statement read.

It further noted that the participants in the Brussels conference, who claim to be supporting Syrians, are actually those who have imposed severe economic sanctions on them.

“The money raised [during the event] will go only to displaced people in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, which seek to encourage them to remain there and hinder their return to Syria,” the statement pointed out.

The centers also renewed their calls for the US to provide access to Rukban camp and ensure the safe exit of civilians stranded there. They also asked for the withdrawal of American troops from al-Tanf area.

The United Nations says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped inside Rukban, where conditions are desperate. This is while Geneva-based international aid agency Doctors Without Borders has put the number there at some 60,000.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on March 6 that the United States needs the Rukban refugee camp in order to justify its illegitimate military presence in Syria.

“The fact that people are not allowed to leave [the camp] and are held hostage makes one suggest that the US needs this camp to continue justifying its illegitimate presence there,” Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad Al Sabah in Kuwait City.

He added, “This is in line with the US policy aimed at creating something like a quasi-state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. It does not want these territories to get back under the control of Syria’s legitimate authorities.”

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