The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday that the US could have stopped financing the White Helmets in Syria due to evidence of staged provocations in Douma.
"It is unclear why representatives of the United States and some European countries, who spoke most about the alleged 'chemical attack' in Douma on April 7, did not want to communicate personally with eyewitnesses of the White Helmets' provocation, who arrived in The Hague. Is it a reason for the US decision to stop financing the White Helmets? Today, when there is so much evidence and many eyewitnesses of the horrible provocation, everything seems to be clear," Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.
CBS news agency reported earlier in the day, citing the leader of the controversial group that the US administration had halted the flow of US cash, which amounts to a third of their budget, had stopped in recent weeks, almost two months after their delegation was hosted by the US State Department in Washington, DC.
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The White Helmets reported in early April an alleged chemical attack in Douma, which they claim was performed by the Syrian government, who has refuted all the allegations.
Speaking further, Konashenkov told reporters that experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had completed their work in Syria's Douma, where a chemical attack allegedly occurred.
"A group of OPCW experts completed the work in the Syrian city of Douma. They were verifying reports on the chemical attack allegedly committed by government forces on April 7," Konashenkov said.
He said the OPCW experts were given full access to all sites in Douma, adding that Russian servicemen and military police ensured the safety of all objects and sites in the city.
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According to the official, the Syrian army is completing the liberation of the Yarmuk refugee camp from terrorists, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.
"The Syrian government troops are completing the operation to liberate the area of the former Palestinian refugee camp Yarmuk in the southern suburb of Damascus," Konashenkov noted.
"At this point, groups of Islamic State [Daesh] terrorists are split and are being eliminated part by part. More than 65 percent of this suburb are under control of government troops," the official said.
According to the spokesman, a total of 1,348 people were have been evacuated from eastern Yarmuk in the past 24 hours, including 506 militants and 842 members of their families.
On Situation Around Rukban Refugee Camp
The United States continues to block the supplies of humanitarian aid to Syria's Rukban refugee camp, located within the area, controlled by Washington, despite the fact that there are some 50,000 people in urgent need of help in the camp, Konashenkov said.
"Despite the previous encouraging statements, the US authorities continue to block any deliveries of humanitarian aid to the Rukban refugee camp, where around 50,000 people are in need of help, most of whom are women, children and elderly," Konashenkov, said.
The US-led coalition's aid to the Syrian areas that are controlled by militant groups is significantly higher than that sent to places under Damascus' control, even though the latter areas were home to almost 90 percent of the Syrian population, the official noted.
"Today, almost 90 percent of the Syrian population lives in the areas that are controlled by the Syrian authorities. However, the so-called ‘international aid’ per one person in areas under the control of irreconcilable opposition and terrorists, is 34 times higher than in areas controlled by the legitimate government," Konashenkov underlined.
The United States occupies a 34-mile zone around its military base near Syria's At-Tanf check point where it trains and equips the forces of the armed Syrian opposition. The Rukban refugee camp is located in the US-controlled zone on the Syrian-Jordanian border, some 11 miles south of At-Tanf.