Approximately 40,000 Syrian refugees are being prevented from returning home by the US occupation forces in Al Tanf, Syria, on the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border. The Rukban camp sits in a remote corner of the Jordanian desert, which lacks water, food, or regular access to humanitarian supplies. The Syrian conflict is almost over, the areas they called home are now secure, and they want to return to Syria.
The real and lasting solution proposed by the UN, Jordan, Russia and Syria to end the suffering, is to allow the return of the refugees to Syria. The humanitarian solution has hit a snag because the Salafi terrorist group, Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra, is holding the refugees as hostages. Colonel Muhanad Talaa, who is in charge of the camp’s security, stated that he preferred the residents be sent to terrorist controlled territory in Northern Syria. Idlib faces a looming attack which may change the course of the Syrian conflict, and sending women and children there would put them in danger.
Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra is in control of the Rukban camp, and are the mercenaries employed by the American military occupying the Al Tanf military base nearby. This militia began as the Allahu Akbar Brigade in November 2012. Over the years their name has changed to Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra, but their Jihadist ideology has remained constant. The American policy in Syria from 2011 to present has always depended on using ‘assets on the ground’, which means using terrorists following Radical Islam to achieve American goals.
The US military objective is to prevent easy access from Iran to Iraq and into Syria. Recently, after Pres. Trump announced his plan for total withdrawal from Syria, US National Security Adviser John Bolton declared from Israel that no timeline exists for withdrawing US forces from Syria, as the plan is dependent on US objectives being met.
Pres. Obama inaugurated the US policy to replace the Syrian government, with a US approved regime, by force in 2011. From the outset the US partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood led Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul, and their armed wing: the Free Syrian Army. All the training, cash and weapons the US and allies invested into the project did not achieve their goals. Instead of cutting losses and declaring defeat on the battlefield, they went with Plan B: to invade Syria and set up military bases in violation of international law. The base at Al Tanf is their most prized, and perhaps the last one they will leave. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, acknowledged Al Tanf’s strategic value in countering Iran.
The Rukban camp began in 2014 with civilians leaving conflict zones in Palmyra and Homs. Over the years there were several terrorist attacks at the camp, and this prompted the Jordanian government to close access to the camp from Syria, which prevented the refugees from receiving regular deliveries of aid. By 2019 the camp has swelled to include terrorists who fled the fall of Reqaa, along with their families. Even though most of the refugees are women and children, many are the families of the Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra who are on the US payroll. The UN and other aid agencies have long been aware of the terrible conditions of the camp, and the suffering of the residents.
Speaking in November 2018 in Washington, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Middle East and North Africa Bureau Director Amin Awad said:
"There are terrorists [in Rukban], there are people who are holding people against their will, there are smugglers, traffickers. Not everybody is innocent but of course there are the innocent people who are held against their will to be a human shield. They are deprived of basic services."
Head of the Russian National Defense Management Center Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, and the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian Reconciliation, have met with Jordanian and Syrian officials and all have called for the dismantlement of Rukban camp. The Jordanian minister of media affairs, Jumana Ghunaimat, asked Russia to assist the residents to leave.
If the Syrian refugees at Rukban camp are allowed to go home, it would appear that Syria is returning to a safe, secure, centralized government under the leadership of Pres. Assad. The US policy remains opposed to that. They are still demanding a new constitution draft which would strip the President of power, and place the power in the hands of a new Parliament, which would include the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Keeping refugees in camps is a US strategy for use in future elections; they can be coerced and manipulated to produce an election outcome in favor of an American approved candidate. What America lost in eight years of battles, they want to achieve in a final solution.