Syria war: Government forces continue bombardment of Yarmouk camp

01 May, 2018, 04:57 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Syrian army tightens noose around Palestinian camp held by ISIS

Rebels with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front evacuated the al-Qadam area last month and the IS militants in the nearby areas stormed large parts of the neighborhood.

SANA said regime forces continued advancing in Hajar al-Aswad.

A spokesman for the United Nations said the assault on the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp outside of Damascus has "transformed" it "into a death camp", The Telegraph reported Thursday.

The transfer of "terrorist groups" to rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria would begin on Monday, said the official SANA news agency, which did not name IS militants.

The Syrian army reached a deal with opposition fighters to evacuate the areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem, near the site of a government offensive against militants, south of Damascus on Sunday.

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Almost two weeks into a campaign to capture the last area near the capital outside government control that has left many parts of the once-teeming Yarmouk camp in ruins, state media said that the al Qadm neighbourhood next to the camp was retaken.

Earlier this month the Assad regime is reported to have launched a chemical weapons attack to defeat the last pockets of resistance in Eastern Ghouta.

Regime forces were locked in violent clashes with IS fighters on Friday morning, the Britain-based monitor said.

Government troops battled Islamic State fighters in the neighbourhood of Qadam and nearby southern areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights monitor said.

Yarmuk and its surroundings are now the jihadist group's largest urban redoubt in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, after IS lost most of the swathes of territory it once held in both countries.

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Tanks were rolling across an open area of fields to the edge of the enclave, which includes parts of al Qadam district, al Hajar al Aswad and the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, while the whizz and crash of artillery fire, the rattle of small arms fire and deep echoing blasts could all be heard.

Eastern Ghouta fell after a brutal military operation and a series of similar evacuation deals brokered by regime ally Russian Federation that saw tens of thousands of residents bussed to northern Syria.

At least 85 regime fighters and 74 IS militants have been killed in 10 days of fighting in southern Damascus, the Observatory says.

Before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Yarmouk was home to around 160,000 Palestinian refugees - people who had been displaced from their homes in modern-day Israel during the 1948 war, and their descendants.

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