Syrian Rebels Control Damascus’ Palestinian Refugee Camp

Rebels have taken control of the Yarmouk ‘camp’ which is home to thousands of ‘Palestinian refugees’.

Defectors of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called to arrest group’s head Ahmed Jibril who fled Yarmouk .

By Elad Benari

 

Syrian rebels have taken full control of the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus, rebel and Palestinian Authority Arab sources said on Monday.

View of the Syrian capital Damascus

View of the Syrian capital Damascus – AFP/File

The takeover of the camp, which is home to thousands of people who are recognized as “Palestinian refugees,” came after days of heavy fighting which pitted rebels against fighters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Defectors of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Syria called on Sunday for the arrest of the group’s head Ahmed Jibril, Al Arabiya reported.

Jibril had been driven out by opposition forces from the Yarmouk refugee camp, the report said. A veteran leader of the Damascus-based faction, Jibril backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has been fighting alongside the regime’s forces.

He left the Yarmouk district of the Syrian capital after 12 days of clashes, both Syrian opposition forces and sources in the Palestinian Authority said on Saturday.

According to Al Arabiya, the sources claimed Jibril departed Yarmouk with his son and they were bound for the Mediterranean city of Tartous, a stronghold of Assad’s minority Alawite community.

The move followed heavy fighting during which Syrian fighters, together with a brigade of PA fighters known as Liwa al-Asifah or the Storm Brigade gained ground in Yarmouk, which is home to thousands of people who are recognized as “Palestinian refugees.”

Smoke rises near Damascus

Smoke rises near Damascus – Reuters

Yarmouk came under heavy attack from the Syrian army on Sunday, as a mosque that was sheltering some 600 refugees from neighboring districts, was attacked from the air and hit by at least one rocket. Reports indicated that at least 25 people were killed in the strike.

Jibril’s PFLP has maintained strong ties to Assad throughout the 21-month uprising, unlike Hamas whose Damascus-based officials, including Khaled Mashaal, quietly pulled out of Syria as the mainly Sunni Muslim uprising against Assad gained momentum.

 

View original Arutz Sheva publications at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163267#.UNA2wnd1m1I

and: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163229#.UNA3KHd1m1I

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