'Palestinians' flee Yarmouk, world is silent
95% of the residents have fled the Yarmouk 'refugee camp'
in Syria in the face of fighting between forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad and Islamist rebels. The world remains silent.
The Palestinian ambassador said on Tuesday over 95 percent of
Palestinians in the Syrian refugee camp of Yarmouk have fled,
Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
Mahmud al-Khalidi told
Ma'an refugees fled to UNRWA schools after fighting raged for days in
the district on the southern edge of President Bashar Assad's Damascus
powerbase, rebel and Palestinian sources said.
According to Ma'an,
Al-Khalidi requested the Syrian Foreign Ministry to end airstrikes on
the camp, but officials insisted rebels must leave the camp first.
battle had pitted rebels, backed by some Palestinians, against
Palestinian fighters of the pro-Assad Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).
Many PFLP-GC fighters defected
to the rebel side and their leader Ahmed Jibril left the camp two days
ago, rebel sources said.
"All of the camp is under the control of
the (rebel) Free Syrian Army," said a Palestinian activist in Yarmouk.
He said clashes had stopped and the remaining PFLP fighters retreated to
join Assad's forces massed on the northern edge of the camp.
Government forces have used jets and artillery to try to dislodge the
fighters but the violence has crept into the heart of the city and
activists say rebels overran three army stations in a new offensive in
the central province of Hama on Monday.
On the border with
Lebanon, hundreds of Palestinian families fled across the frontier
following the weekend violence in Yarmouk, a Reuters witness said.
Syria hosts half a million Palestinian refugees, most living in
Yarmouk, descendants of those admitted after the creation of Israel in
1948, and has always cast itself as a champion of the Palestinian
struggle, sponsoring several guerrilla factions.
government and the mainly Sunni Muslim Syrian rebels have enlisted and
armed divided Palestinian factions as the uprising has developed into a
The Times of Israel adds
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights says heavy battles are under way Tuesday in the Palestinian
refugee camp of Yarmouk, in southern Damascus.
The Observatory says the fighting is forcing
Palestinian refugees and Syrians who came to Yarmouk to escape violence
elsewhere in the country to flee the camp.
When the revolt against Assad’s rule unrest
began in March 2011, the half-million-strong Palestinian community in
Syria tried to stay on the sidelines.
As the civil war deepened, most Palestinians
backed the rebels, though some groups — such as the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine-General Command — have been fighting on the
Just keep it on your own side of the border boys....
Labels: Bashar al-Assad, Free Syrian Army, Palestinian refugees, Syrian uprising