Yarmouk refugee camp.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
There were conflicting reports on Thursday on whether Palestinian gunmen had managed to drive members of Islamic State out of the Yarmouk refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Some reports suggested that the camp had been “liberated” from the Islamic State terrorists, while others said that fighting was continuing between the two parties.
Earlier reports said that Islamic State had managed to occupy the camp on Wednesday.
Hours later, according to the reports, the Islamists withdrew from the camp, only to return to it early Thursday.
It was Islamic State’s biggest attack near the heart of Damascus since the beginning of the civil war four years ago.
The PLO said in a statement issued in Ramallah that the aggression against the camp was aimed at turning it into a battlefield “where Palestinians would pay the price.”
The United Nations and Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees expressed deep concern over the safety and protection of Syrian and Palestinian civilians in the camp.
“Credible information from public sources indicates that a variety of armed groups are engaged in fierce fighting in areas where Yarmuk’s 18,000 civilians, including some 3,500 children, reside, placing them at extreme risk of death, serious injury, trauma and displacement,” UNRWA said in a statement.
“In the strongest possible terms, UNRWA demands from all parties respect for and compliance with their obligations to ensure the protection of civilians in Yarmuk,” the statement added.