Assad forces advance in Damascus Palestinian refugee camp

Thousands in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, mostly under rebel control, flee after pro-government faction captures nearly third of camp

Officials say pro-government gunmen are advancing in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.


Fighting in the camp broke out earlier this week. It has been mostly under rebel control since late last year.


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Anwar Raja, a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said Friday the Palestinian Popular Committees want to "cleanse" the camp of "terrorist gangs."


The PFLP-GC is close the Syrian government.


Khaled Abdul-Majid of the Popular Struggle Front, another pro-government faction, said Popular Committees have captured nearly a third of the mostly empty camp. Thousands of refugees have fled.


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.


Both Assad's government and the mainly Sunni Muslim Syrian rebels have enlisted and armed divided Palestinian factions as the uprising has developed into a civil war.


Since the start of the unrest, Palestinians in Syria have struggled to remain on the sidelines.


Still, some young Palestinian refugees have joined the rebels in the fight against President Bashar Assad's regime.


Reuters contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 07.26.13, 18:41
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