Armed militia in control of refugee camp in DamascusSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 19/12/2012 6:13 am in World / no comments
DAMASCUS, Dec. 18 — A Palestinian source confirmed on Tuesday that armed militia has stormed the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees and that they are in full control of it.
Anwar Raja, spokesman of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian General Command (PFLP-GC), told Xinhua that the armed militia, including the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front, have entered the camp like “Berber Tatars and Mongols,” adding that they have carried out looting and burglaries in homes and shops.
He also denied the government army’s presence around the camp despite Western media reports that said army tanks are closing in on the camp.
Raja said the local committees of the PFLP-GC are fighting against the assailants in the camp, which is the main and largest refugee camp for the Palestinian refugees in Syria.
Despite its name as a Palestinian camp, the area is inhabited by only 150,000 Palestinians out of the country’s 500,000 refugees. The camp also houses some 500,000 Syrians.
A day earlier, media reports said Syria’s rebel opposition has taken full control of the Palestinian refugee camp, after days of fighting.
The battle for the Yarmouk refugee camp was fought between rebels, backed by some Palestinians, and Palestinian fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, the report said.