Syrian rebels saw Yarmouk as their gateway to Damascus (file photo, Aleppo).
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Damascus, Syria – Militant fighters of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) stormed several neighborhoods of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in southern Damascus on Thursday, killing a number of Syrian opposition fighter in the district and kidnapping dozens of others.
Speaking to ARA News in the Yarmouk camp, activists linked to the Syrian opposition said that the IS jihadists were able to control several neighborhoods of the district near the Palestine mosque, under the cover of the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria), which is in control of the outskirts of the camp.
The activists said that the rebel fighters of Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis were fighting on two fronts, the first in the area near the al-Ahram area near the Palestine mosque against the al-Nusra Front and the second was against the IS radical group on Yarmouk Street in the Electricity Foundation area.
The journalist Walid al-Agha, based in southern Damascus, reported that reinforcements from rebels of the Sham al-Rasoul Brigade, the Army of Islam, and the Ababil Horan Brigade arrived at the camp to support the al-Maqdis fighters fight IS jihadists.
In the meantime, Sham al-Rasoul rebels announced in a statement on Tuesday evening that they had regained control of the region stretching from al-Mashroa to the Palestine roundabout following IS control over it Thursday morning.
“A number of Palestinian and young Syrian people from the camp, who were fighting in the ranks of IS and al-Nusra, defected and joined the ranks of the fighters defending the camp,” the statement of Sham al-Rasoul added.
Under the banner “#Yarmouk will not fall”, Syrian activists launched a social media campaign to show solidarity with opposition fighters in Yarmouk combatting the radical groups of the IS and al-Nusra.
Meanwhile, Syrian regime forces continued pounding the camp with mortars, killing two media activists, Jamal Khalifa and Abd al-Latif al-Rimawi, as well as injuring at least four volunteers from the Red Crescent during which time clashes between jihadists and rebels were also occurring.
In addition to all this, for months, stranded civilians in the Yarmouk camp –mostly Palestinians– have been suffering a severe shortage of basic supplies such as water and food, facilitation the spread of diseases .
Reportring by: Adel Hassan
Source: ARA News