The United States won’t feed 30,000 starving Syrians living under its protection

By | July 24, 2019

Josh Rogin writes:

About 10 miles from a U.S. military outpost in southern Syria, some 30,000 civilians are in crisis — with almost no food, water or medicine — and, for complicated reasons, the U.S. government refuses to feed them. These innocent people are living under the protection of the United States, fearing the Bashar al-Assad regime, Iranian militias and the Islamic State. But the U.S. government, which bears primary responsibility for their fate because of its control over the area, is standing by and watching them needlessly starve to death.

There were originally about 50,000 people at the Rukban internally displaced persons (IDP) camp, living there for as long as four years after fleeing their homes in Homs province, which has been reduced mostly to rubble by shelling from the Assad regime. They chose to make camp close to the U.S. military base called Tanf. The United States has a few hundred troops there, training partner forces to fight the Islamic State and holding a strategically crucial location on the road between Tehran and Damascus, near Syria’s borders with Iraq and Jordan.

Living in squalor and facing starvation, thousands agreed to be transported back into Assad-controlled territory. Most of them were likely detained by the regime as suspected rebels, forcibly conscripted into Assad’s army or killed. Those who didn’t want to risk this fate remain in Rukban, cut off from the world and begging for help on Facebook and Twitter. [Continue reading…]

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