ISIS captures refugee camp in Damascus | Independent Newspapers Limited
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ISIS captures refugee camp in Damascus

Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

ISIS militants capture ‘majority’ of Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus, engage armed Palestinian groups as they move closer to the seat of the Assad regime.
On Wednesday militants from the Islamic State jihadist group seized control of most of the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus, a local Palestinian official told AFP.
“Fighters from IS launched an assault this morning on Yarmuk and they took over the majority of the camp,” said Anwar Abdel Hadi, director of political affairs for the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Damascus, claiming that fighting in the camp was continuing through pockets of resistance among Palestinian militants. Syrian activists and a Lebanon-based TV station reported that, after entering from Hajar Aswad (the southern Damascene neighbourhood completely controlled by armed rebels) IS militants engaged in combat with Palestinian groups within the camp – who are also opposed to Bashar al-Assad’s regime – in an attempt to secure its capture. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, confirmed that IS now controls a “large part” of the camp after clashes broke out with members of the Palestinian faction Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis.
Yarmuk was once a thriving neighbourhood home to 160,000 Palestinian refugees and Syrians but has been caught up in the country’s fighting and besieged by regime forces for more than a year.
Only about 18,000 residents are estimated to remain in the camp since many have fled after months of being caught between government forces and Syrian insurgents including al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. The siege has caused significant shortages of food, water and drugs inside the camp.