RT films abandoned UN checkpoints at Golan Heights after terrorists kicked out
RT has visited the liberated Golan Heights to witness the abandoned UN infrastructure now to be restored by the returning peacekeeping force. The crew also filmed numerous refugees returning to Syria through the Lebanese border.
The joint effort of the Syrian military and Russian Aerospace Forces has led to the terrorists being kicked out of the Golan Heights. RT's cameras have been among the first to arrive in the area disputed by Syria and Israel after the Jewish state occupied it during the Six-Day War in 1967.
UN peacekeepers patrolled the Syrian side of the demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights for the first time in seven years last week, in a mission jointly prepared with the Russian forces.
"The UN troops fled this area as soon as Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists arrived and first shots were fired back in 2011," RT's Igor Zhdanov said as he examined a rusty and decayed UN checkpoint.
Russian military police have established five posts outside the DMZ to provide security and facilitate the return of a permanent UN force to the Golan Heights.
RT also visited the nearby border between Syria and Lebanon, which is expected to become a major floodgate for those who were displaced by the conflict and are now willing to return. Five points of entry for the returning refugees have currently been established by the Syrian authorities on the frontier.
"I learnt my town in Syria was safe now. That's why I decided to return there with my family," a man told RT as he was holding his small daughter in his hands.
The refugees said they had no choice but to flee when the conflict in Syria began in 2011 and Islamic militants came to their towns and villages.
"The terrorists were against life itself; against the peaceful citizens, women and children. It was very difficult for us to live, while the terrorists were living in good conditions," one of them said.
Medics have been working on the border to provide those crossing from Lebanon, especially, women and children, with free drugs and food as well as psychological assistance.
The refugees are welcome in their home country, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, said. "Syrians living abroad, who have committed nothing against their fellow citizens, should fear nothing at all. The government will ensure their safety."
But those who escaped Syria out of fear after "committing heinous crimes," should face prosecution, Mekdad added. "The White Helmets are criminals and should be treated this way," he said, referring to the infamous Western-backed group, which was caught red-handed working with terrorists and allegedly faking chemical attacks to smear Damascus.
The Syrian government promised to restore infrastructure on a large scale in the country which managed to liberate most of its territory from terrorists with the assistance Russia and other allies.
RT's Igor Zhdanov visited a Syrian school which is ready to be reopened in September. He said that "it seems there's a new subject on the curriculum and it's called survival." The walls inside the building were decorated with posters, depicting different types of landmines and improvised explosive devices, left by the retreating militants.
Despite 25,000 refugees already returning to start rebuilding their country, many in the West warn Syrians against going back, including UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. "It is premature to promote return. Syria is still very insecure. There is still a lot of war going on in Syria," the Italian said recently.
Such statements are in line with the unwillingness of the EU and the US to assist in Syrian reconstruction as they "have since 2011 made it their policy to destroy Syria and its government," political writer Dan Glazebrook told RT.
"The Syrian refugees in Europe are caught between a rock and a hard place: on the one hand, they have the EU and the US continuing to enact this policy of making their country uninhabitable and then, at the same time, you have this growing fascist street movement in the EU, whose policy is basically also to make Europe uninhabitable for them (refugees)," Glazebrook said.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!