Exclusive: Al-Nusra militants retreat from Yarmouk

Tue Aug 6, 2013 19:43:46

Palestinian fighters have recaptured some occupied parts of the Yarmouk refugee camp near Syrian capital, al-Alam reports.

Al-Alam reporter Darin Fadhl said on Tuesday that heavy clashes erupted in the camp between Palestinians and foreign-backed militants in which tens of insurgents affiliated to al-Nusra Front were killed and the remaining retreated and ran to other areas.

Palestinian groups started to gather fighters in July to stand against militants who entered the camp a few months ago.

Many of the Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave the camp by militants who seek to use it as a base to step up their attacks on Damascus.

Fadhl said belongings left by the militants in the buildings show they were from al-Nusra terrorists.

There are still parts of the camp which are occupied by al-Nusra terrorists, she added.

In the few months of their presence in the camp, militants had dug several tunnels to transfer arms and equipments.

Digging tunnels is a common practice among militants fighting against the government in Syria.

They use them for moving around, transferring equipments and even targeting people and army soldiers.

An army commander told Fadhl that, army soldiers are going to continue the path they started and plan to move on to the Hare al-Sa’ada and al-Rajoule Mosque.

Palestinian fighters say they are determined to move on and restore security to the camp.
Yarmouk camp is home to the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria.

The camp turned into a flashpoint area in Damascus when unrest broke out in the Arab country in 2011.

In June, United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s commissioner general described Palestinian refugee camps in Syria as "theaters of war."

"Killings, kidnappings, poverty, destruction and fear have become part of daily life," Filippo Grandi said.

More than half of the 530,000 Palestinian refugees registered in Syria have been displaced and 15 percent have fled abroad, including 60,000 to neighboring Lebanon and over 7,000 to Jordan.


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