The US military deployed at the Al Tanf base in Homs province have detained members of the delegation from Rukban refugees camp who were headed to a meeting with the representatives of the Syrian government.

Among the detained were the elders of Palmyra and Al Qaryatayn cities who were going to hold negotiations on the return of the refugees to the areas controlled by the Syrian authorities.

According to Said Sayf, spokesman of US-backed Ahmad Abdo Forces group stationed at Al Tanf, the US military have put the members of the delegation into custody and held them for several hours.

He also added that the residents of the camp struggle to improve their situation, as they blame the US-led International Coalition for failing to deliver on its promises to eradicate terrorism in the area. “The people don’t think the Coalition is serious in its efforts, as it has done nothing during the last three years,” Sayf complained.

Yesterday it was reported that dozens of families have left Rukban due to dreadful living conditions and deteriorating security situation. The refugees headed westward and crossed over to the areas controlled by the Syrian government. In total, during last month 300 families left for Palmyra and Al Qaryatayn, while an equal number headed towards Al Mansoura.

The refugees were able to enter the areas under the government control due to an agreement brokered by local elders and the Russians, sources indicated.

The inhabitants of the camp suffer from extremely poor sanitation, lack of public services and deteriorating security situation due to sporadic clashes between the armed opposition groups active in the area.

Rukban camp is located in the immediate vicinity of Al Tanf base which hosts a number of military personnel of the US-led International Coalition in addition to the militants of the US-backed armed opposition factions.

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