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SETF Continues Aid Operations in Rukban Camp Defying Assad-Russian-Iranian Siege

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09/01/2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) is thrilled to announce the third delivery on September 01, 2023, to the Rukban internally displaced persons (IDP) camp as part of “Operation Syrian Oasis,” following two previous successful deliveries on June 20th and 26th, 2023. The third shipment confirms SETF’s continuous commitment to providing relief for the much-deserving camp residents. It also demonstrates the unprecedented nature and importance of this operation as the first-ever recurrent influx of significant amounts of aid to those affected by an agonizing eight-year-long siege imposed by the Assad regime, Russia and Iran. 

Near the Jordanian-Iraqi border, about 8,000 displaced civilians remain in the clutches of a suffocating siege on Rukban surrounded by Assad forces and their Russian and Iranian allies, where civilians have sought safety in the 55-km deconfliction zone surrounding the US military base, al-Tanf Garrison. Unjustly accused of being “terrorists” by the Syrian regime, these women, children, and men have endured abysmal living conditions and severe deprivation of basic necessities due to the blockade that has barred any aid from reaching them. Marking a significant turning point in the siege, SETF is now the first organization to deliver aid directly to the camp despite the international community’s failure to respond to their pleas.

We have successfully delivered seeds, irrigation tools, and school supplies for the over 1,700 school-aged children in the camp who were deprived of any educational supplies in the first two deliveries. This is the first time in four years that the children and teachers will each individually receive school books. Additionally, this recent delivery contained cooking oil, baby formula, prenatal vitamins, and school books from grades preschool to 9th.

Two camp nurses expressed their gratitude: “All thanks to the Syrian Emergency Task Force, who broke the siege on the Rukban camp and supported us with infant formula and prenatal vitamins. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this.”

This significant operation would not be possible without the unwavering dedication and tireless efforts of SETF’s team and generous donors who continuously support our humanitarian operations. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our valued partners at Global Justice for their exceptional generosity in funding and facilitating the delivery of educational books to Rukban camp—significantly enriching the lives of thousands of children who have been deprived of education for years. SETF is grateful for the U.S. Department of Defense’s assistance with the transportation of aid to Rukban IDP Camp using U.S. military aircraft already traveling to al-Tanf Garrison as part of ongoing operations. For clarity, the transportation is based on space availability and will not impact or divert resources from the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). 

The supplies are delivered by SETF to the Ayn al-Asad Airbase, an encampment of the Iraqi Armed Forces located in the Al Anbar Governorate, and then to the al-Tanf garrison, where SETF staff on the ground distributes the aid to the camp civilians. Operation Syrian Oasis is fully funded by SETF’s grassroots donors.

 

 

For press inquiries, please contact:
Maria Cure, Director of Communications
[email protected] |+1 (202) 948-5398