Syrians from the Rukban camp who had spent more than three years living in unbearable conditions there have received medical care and food in a temporary accommodation center in the Homs Governorate, refugees who were able to leave the camp told reporters.
"There is one medical aid post in Rukban, but it is impossible to get there, because the line is huge. You can make an appointment and wait for several months. Militants decide who will visit the doctor and who will not. Even if a doctor prescribes some drugs, few people can afford to buy them. If some sort of medication costs 150 pounds, it will cost 15,000 pounds in Rukban. If you tell them that you need medical care in another city, they do not allow you to leave the camp all the same. Neither my wife, nor my children, nor I have been able to visit the doctor over the past four years," Muhanna Hamid al-Ali, a refugee, said.
He noted that many people who died of diseases had been buried close to the camp. Refugees were allowed to leave Rukban only after paying some money - 50,000 pounds for an adult and 10,000 pounds for a child. After that, militants transported people 50 kilometers away from the camp.
"I paid 130,000 for my family, that was all we had. We were told that we could stay here, at the center, as long as we want, but we hope to return home. We come from the Homs Governorate. However, I do not know yet what has happened to our home," he added.
Food prices in the Rukban camp are high, so it was difficult to buy something, while in the temporary accommodation center people get free food. "In Rukban, we lived through hell, but now the conditions are totally different, like in paradise. We have everything: water, food, medicines and shelter. My children are fed. What else could I ask for?" said Murhab Nasur.
The interviewed refugees stressed that US-controlled militants were hampering their free movement. According to Muhammad al-Amin, illegal armed groups get official wages from US representatives for their work. "When people began to leave the camp, militants were ordered not to let anyone out, they even were rewarded with a pay raise for that. The Americans have never set foot in the camp, they are sitting at their base. The militants went to them on their own. They (militants - TASS) have US-made vehicles and guns," he pointed out.
The Rukban refugee camp emerged on the Syrian-Jordanian border in 2014 after Amman had closed the border due to security and economic concerns. The area, controlled by illegal armed gangs, is facing a dire humanitarian crisis.
Over 13,000 people have left Rukban now, while about 30,000 Syrians remain there in appalling conditions. They are unable to pay the US-controlled militants in order to leave the camp.