Thursday, May 28
Latest News
  1. EU asks member states to admit 40,000 asylum seekers
  2. Official: Bangladesh plans to move thousands of Rohingya to island
  3. Iraq forces in Anbar push, stir over operation codename
  4. Brother urges Iran to free reporter held on 'laughable' charges
  5. Yemeni pleads guilty in New York to Al-Qaeda conspiracy
  6. UN seeks new date for Yemen talks
  7. Draft bill on transsexuals sent to Iran parliament
  8. EU to unveil latest plan to absorb migrants fairly
  9. Spokesman: Libya PM escapes assassination attempt
  10. AFP: Multiple explosions, gunfire in Kabul diplomatic area
  11. Govt: Kabul gunbattle ends with four attackers killed
  12. Turkey says training of moderate Syrian rebels begins with US
  13. Pro-government fighters push rebels out of Yemen city
  14. Police: suspected Fulani herdsmen kill at least 23 in central Nigeria
  15. Obama: Russia adopting 'increasingly aggressive posture' in Ukraine
  16. Washington Post reporter stands trial in Iran for spying
  17. Austrian 14-year-old jailed on 'terrorism' charges
  18. Saudi beheads 88th person, exceeding last year's total
  19. Charter buys US giant Time Warner Cable in $78.7 billion deal
  20. Diplomat: France suspends security cooperation with Burundi

Syrian troops, tanks gather outside Palestinian camp in Damascus

Dec. 17, 2012 3:46 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 9:40 A.M.)
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian troops and tanks on Monday gathered outside the Palestinian Yarmouk camp in Damascus, scene of clashes between Palestinians loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels backed by Palestinian fighters.

Clashes inside the camp continued on Monday with thousands of people fleeing to nearby suburbs. Syrian jets bombed the camp on Sunday killing at least 25 people.

An activist in the camp said airstrikes destroyed al-Jurmoq and al-Mansura schools on Monday. He told Ma'an shops had closed amid fears of a food crisis and most areas had no electricity because of the bombing.

Yarmouk, in southern Damascus, is part of an arc sweeping from the east to southwest of the Syrian capital where Assad's forces have been trying for several weeks to push back rebels from the gates of his power base.

PLO official in Syria Anwar Abdul-Hadi said Monday that over half the population of the camp had fled, seeking refuge in nearby schools, mosques and United Nations buildings.

Abdul-Hadi told Ma'an that President Mahmoud Abbas had been updated about the latest developments and that the Syrian regime had pledged not to attack Yarmouk again.

Heavy fighting broke out 13 days ago between Syrian rebels, joined by Palestinian brigade the Liwaa al-Asifah, and fighters from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, a Damascus-based Palestinian faction that backs Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The fighting intensified on Saturday with rebels gaining ground inside the camp, forcing Ahmed Jibril, a veteran PFLP-GC leader, to leave the capital with his son.

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Monday urged all sides in the conflict to protect the Palestinians and to keep them out of the fighting.

Spokesman of the Hamas government in Gaza Taher al-Nunu denounced the attack on Yarmouk in a statement Monday, while PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo condemned the Syrian regime's "criminal murder and destruction," calling on the international community to intervene.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called the attack "a matter of grave concern," while French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the attack "scandalous."

Syria hosts more that 500,000 Palestinian refugees, most of them living in Yarmouk. Assad's government and Syrian rebels have enlisted and armed Palestinian refugees during the 21-month uprising, which has escalated into a civil war.

In November, the PLO said that around 600 Palestinians had been killed in the Syrian conflict.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015