Reports: Five Palestinians killed as fighting returns to Yarmouk camp

Reports: Five Palestinians killed as fighting returns to Yarmouk camp

Damascus : Syria | Jan 09, 2013 at 7:47 AM PST
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Bashar al-Assad (R) greets Saad Hariri in Damascus

Palestinian sources and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that five Palestinians were killed in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on Tuesday as a result of a fierce shootout, between fighters of the PFLP-GC loyal to the Syrian regime and Free Syrian Army fighters, who are controlling a large part of the camp. Yarmouk camp has been under total blockade by the Syrian regime forces for four days, preventing the entry of fuel, food and medical supplies that led to a massive humanitarian disaster, SOHR said.

According to sources inside the camp, Yarmouk residents, including children, are dying on daily basis since the camp came under siege. Medical equipment, including oxygen supplies, are not allowed into the camp and a number of patients have suffocated to death as a result, sources said.

Meanwhile, SOHR reported that the Free Syrian Army fighters clashed with regime forces in the suburbs of Damascus, including in Daraya and Kafar Sousseh. The Observatory also said the warplanes bombed neighborhoods around the capital including Douma, Aqraba and Beit Saham.

For its part, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) reported that Daraya and nearby Moadamiyet al-Sham came under heavy shelling from the elite Fourth Division and Brigade 105, stationed in the area.

LCC also said that, they were able, on Tuesday, to confirm 118 martyrs, among them three children and three women. Forty-seven martyrs were reported in Idlib, 35 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 15 in Deir Ezzor, nine in Aleppo, six in Homs, three in Daraa and one in Hama.

Earlier, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay estimated more than 60,000 people have been killed in the 22 months since a brutal crackdown by Bashar Assad's forces and Shabiha gangs on peaceful protests stirred the violence.

Military analysts say the Syrian regime is focused on maintaining the suburbs of Damascus and preventing FSA control, because the FSA controlling Moadamiyet al-Sham and Daraya would mean the war is getting closer to the seat of Assad's power.

In a new development, Syrian official TV and all pro-regime channels published breaking news, stating that the Syrian government held a special meeting, led by Assad regime Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi, to discuss Assad’s recent roadmap and proposal for the formation of a reconciliation conference with the aim of putting an end to country’s unrest.

At the same time, leaders of the opposition, Syrian National Coalition, will today join a two-day conference in Sussex, UK, designed to focus minds internationally on planning for political transition in Syria without Bashar Assad.

For his part, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has tweeted that the Syrian president Bashar Assad's departure from power is "inevitable."


This will not be the last incident in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, because the Syrian regime knows well that the camp is the easier point. Therefore, if it were fully controlled by the heroes of the FSA, it means the fall of Damascus completely. For this, the regime is focusing its fights on the outskirts of Damascus and trying to keep Damascus far from the cycle of conflict.

Areas that were bombed outside Damascus are considered areas with high population. Despite that, it seems that the goal of the regime is to regain control of those areas at any cost. Knowing that, we do not exaggerate to emphasize that the regime will fail to control these areas, because the FSA is monitoring most of the roads leading to the capital Damascus in addition to the international route to Beirut.

On the ground, although the weather is very cold in Damascus, the fighting is still going on. The FSA has benefited from the weather conditions by moving forward towards Damascus, according to an FSA website announcement.

I think that the Syrian opposition conference in Britain holds a great importance; people are convinced by Britain that the departure of Assad is inevitable and that the international community is setting a plan for the day after his departure. The weird part is that journalists are not allowed to attend this conference.

Its worth mentioning that, there are around half a million refugees living in Al-Yarmouk refugee camp. Those refugees were forced out of their homes and lands when Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine in 1948.


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Syria: Five Palestinians killed as fighting returns to Yarmuk camp
Palestinian girls, whose families fled the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, rally in front on the United Nations offices in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Helweh on the outskirts of Sidon, Lebanon, on Tuesday. (AFP)
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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