Terrorist Groups Keep Preventing Refugees From Leaving Rukban Camp - Moscow

MOSCOW- Militants are still stopping displaced Syrians and their families from leaving Syria's Rukban camp and providing them false information about true intentions of Russia and Damascus, head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian Reconciliation Lt. Gen. Sergei Solomatin said on Friday.

According to Solomatin, two checkpoints were opened on Tuesday to facilitate the displaced's withdrawal from the Rukban camp, which lies in the area controlled by the United States. Soldiers from the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria and crews of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are working at the checkpoints, and are prepared to provide assistance for those who want to leave the camp, he added, according to Sputnik.

 "At the same time, illegal armed groups operating in the area [spanning] 55 kilometers [34 miles], are preventing the refugees from leaving the Rukban camp, providing them misleading information about true intentions of the Russian side and Damascus," Solomatin told a briefing.

He called on the United States to put pressure on the leadership of opposition groups and prevent them from disrupting the evacuation of civilians from the camp.