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PFLP-GC: Aid to enter Yarmouk Saturday

Jan. 18, 2014 12:53 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2014 10:41 A.M.)
DAMASCUS (Ma'an) -- Militant groups stationed in Syria's Yarmouk refugee camp on Friday reached an agreement to allow humanitarian aid to enter the camp, a Palestinian faction said.

A statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command said that various militant groups agreed to facilitate the entry of much-needed food and medicine supplies to the besieged Damascus camp via Rama Street on Saturday.

The agreement will grant students and sick patients the opportunity to exit the camp, the statement said.

According to the PFLP-GC, roadblocks and earth mounds were removed early Saturday to create an entrance for the goods.

Several attempts to deliver aid to Yarmouk camp have been thwarted in recent weeks due to rigorous fighting within and around the camp.

At least four Palestinians were killed in the camp on Thursday after government helicopters dropped a barrel bomb on it, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Militants say at least seven Palestinians refugees died in the attack.

At least 50 people have died due to food and medicine shortages in the camp in recent months, according to the Observatory.

After rebels seized control of Yarmouk in December 2012, the camp became embroiled in the armed fighting taking place across Syria and came under heavy regime assault.

Regime forces eventually encircled the camp and in July imposed a siege on the camp, leading to a rapid deterioration of living conditions.

Fatah leader Abbas Zaki told Ma'an in mid-October that Yarmouk's population of 250,000 had dwindled to 18,000 after two and a half years of conflict in Syria.

The PFLP-GC is a small Palestinian militant group allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Syrian conflict, which began as peaceful protests in March 2011 but developed into a civil war, has killed more than 130,000 people and prompted millions to flee their homes.

More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants -- were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.
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