Palestinian refugees serving in sniper units throughout Syria's capital Damascus are helping President Bashar Assad cling to power, three years after the eruption of the bloody civil war that has claimed the lives of more than 90,000 people. CNN reporter Fred Pleitgen accompanied the snipers during a day of fierce battles in the Damascus suburb of Yarmouk.
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"We're on the front line with Palestinians fighting for the Assad regime. Snipers do much of the fighting, and death can come any second," Pleitgen says in a video released by CNN.
'Shot took out a rebel fighter' (Photo: CNN)
"This is a pro-government sniper position, and this fighter just told me he sees the snipers through his scope from here, so we'll wait and see what happens." The Palestinian sniper fires, and explains: "That shot took out a rebel fighter."
Yarmouk, which was set up by the Assad regime as a Palestinian refugee camp decades ago, "bears the scars of war," the CNN reporter says.
Pleitgen then asks the commander of the snipers unit who his enemy is. "They are mostly Islamists from al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra; mostly foreigners from the Emirates, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also Syrians and Palestinians," says the commander.
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