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Concerned about Dire Humanitarian Situation in Rukban IDP Camp, SETF Calls for Support to Provide Access to Healthcare and Medical Assistance

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) expresses its extreme concern regarding the dire humanitarian situation in Rukban Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, particularly the lack of access to healthcare and medical aid. SETF staff on the ground have reported a rise in urgent medical cases among civilians in the camp, the latter who have communicated  their number one priority is access to doctors. The extension of SETF’s Operation ‘Syrian Oasis’ to include doctors and medical aid to the camp is pivotal not only to save lives,  but also to support the mission of the US Al Tanf Garrison (ATG) at no cost to the US government. 


During a previous visit by SETT’s Executive Team, the concept of bringing in medical personnel to the besieged camp was proven successful. Dr. Haytham Albizim, cardiologist of Philadelphia, was able to enter Rukban and see dozens of patients who never had access to this before. Dr. Albizem, who heads the Syrian-American organization Global Justice, provided, in coordination with SETF, a medical assessment of Rukban conveying the dire need for regular doctors’ access to the camp. SETF has since been able to identify additional doctors willing to travel to Rukban at no cost to the US government. Despite these efforts in full coordination and support of the US forces stationed at ATG, the Syria Desk at the State Department halted this medical mission. 


Preventing doctors and medical aid from reaching civilians risks the lives of thousands and destabilizes the 55-km deconfliction zone (DCZ). SETF, alongside its partner organizations and volunteers, have doctors and medical equipment ready to enter Rukban as soon as possible. SETF is grateful to Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) including US forces at ATG, for their continued support for our humanitarian work and calls on the State Department to no longer hinder access of life-saving doctors and medical aid to the civilians in Rukban. SETF reiterates that all the aid provided and previous mission to Rukban utilized available space on ongoing operations at no cost to the US government and supports force protection and counter-radicalization efforts in the 55 km DCZ. 


About the Syrian Emergency Task Force

The Syrian Emergency Task Force is a Syrian-American 501(c)(3) headquartered in Washington, D.C. SETF works tirelessly to bring an end to the killing in Syria through humanitarian initiatives, advocacy and the pursuit of justice and accountability for war crimes. Today, SETF stands as the most notable American organization working on Syria, as evidenced by the impact it has made both on the ground in Syria and the U.S. SETF serves as a resource for education by bringing the voices of the Syrian people to the international stage. From testimonies at the UN Security Council to local grassroots community fundraisers, the team brings together like-minded people who are determined to fight for a safe, and free Syria away from the vicious dictatorship.

For any inquiries, please contact:
Maria Cure
[email protected]