"We are still concerned about reports that the United States and its allies are consolidating their illegal military presence in the territory of sovereign Syria. In particular, heavy military equipment is arriving in the zone established by the United States around the settlements of At Tanf in the southeast of the country," Zakharova told a briefing.
The US military base is located in the border town of al-Tanf, where troops of the armed Syrian opposition are trained and equipped. The Al-Rukban refugee camp is located in the "security zone" next to the US military base al-Tanf; it was illegally deployed in April 2017 under the pretext of fighting terrorists.
At the end of November last year, the head of the Russian Center for the reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, Lieutenant-General Sergei Kuralenko, reported that the US, having closed the 55-kilometer zone around the US base in the Syrian city of al-Tanf, had isolated more than 50,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance. Russia then proposed to the command of a group of US troops in al-Tanf to jointly ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the refugees. The coalition, led by the United States, agreed to help, but said that it had not received confirmation that Syrian authorities were ready to allow convoys to pass.
Maria Zakharova said that the counterterrorism operation in the Syrian East Ghouta is coming to an end.
"The counterterrorism operation in East Ghouta is over, only the city of Douma remains under the control of militants," Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow on Thursday.
A significant part of the civilian population was able to leave the city via humanitarian corridors organized with the assistance of the Russian military, she added.
"Negotiations are underway on the possibility of a peaceful transfer of control over the city to Syrian government forces," Zakharova added.
"Continuing fabricated and groundless accusations against the Syrian government and Russia with regard to the indiscriminate use of force in the alleged killing of civilians, pure fiction and other lies, that are allegedly imbued with concern for the fate of the civilian population, in fact create obstacles for reaching negotiated solutions and saving lives," Zakharova said.