1148 GMT March 28, 2020
A joint statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday urged “the United States, whose military units are on Syrian territory illegally, to leave the country,” Press TV reported.
It demanded that the American forces allow the evacuation of the people based in the Rukban refugee camp in southeastern Syria near Jordan’s border.
Russian and Syrian forces have prepared buses to relocate the refugees in Rukban and would guarantee them safe passage, the statement noted.
The United States maintains a military base in the nearby Al-Tanf area at the intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders.
Washington strictly monitors movements in and around the area, whose geographical location has lent it special strategic significance.
The US led scores of its allies in an invasion of Syria in 2014 under the pretext of confronting the terror group of Daesh.
Damascus objects to Washington’s military presence on its soil and has repeatedly brought its stated goal into question, amid recurrent reports of the US-led coalition’s attempts to help relocate terrorists around and out of Syria.
Last December, President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
Earlier in February, however, Washington said it would keep about 400 troops split between two different regions of Syria in a reversal that could prompt US allies to likewise extend the mandates of their forces.
Russia began bombing targets belonging to Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria at Damascus’ request in September 2015.
Damascus, backed by Russia and Iran, has managed to liberate almost the entire country from Daesh, whose presence is now confined to the village of Baghouz in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor.