Abbas offers refuge to Palestinians fleeing Syrian war

1 / 2
2 / 2
Updated 22 December 2012
0

Abbas offers refuge to Palestinians fleeing Syrian war

RAMALLAH/BEIRUT: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said he is ready to take in Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war.
Abbas said he has asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon to help in bringing the refugees to the Palestinian territories. This could include the West Bank, where Abbas governs, or the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The request was reported Wednesday by the official Wafa news agency amid fighting at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk outside the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Fighting has forced an exodus of Palestinian refugees and Syrians who came to the camp in past weeks to escape violence elsewhere in the city, according to United Nations officials.
Abbas said there are 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in 10 camps in Syria. Yarmouk, which is the biggest camp, “has been through a difficult situation due to the escalating conflict in Syria,” he said.
Any movement of refugees into the West Bank would need the consent of Israel.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry had no comment.
On Tuesday, Syrian fighter jets bombed Yarmouk for the second time in a week, sending thousands fleeing from the camp.
There were no reports on casualties from those strikes. Similar airstrikes on Sunday killed at least eight people in Yarmouk, activists said.
The rebel offensive in the camp, which began Friday, is aimed at driving out a pro-government Palestinian gunmen of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
Most of the fighting on Wednesday was concentrated on surrounding districts outside the camp, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It said the rebels took control of large parts of the camp after resistance from the PFLP-GC gunmen ceased early Wednesday. The group relies on reports from activists on the ground.
When the revolt against Assad’s rule began 21 months ago, the half-million-strong Palestinian community in Syria stayed on the sidelines. But as the civil war deepened, most Palestinians backed the rebels, while some groups — such as the PFLP-GC— have been fighting alongside the troops. The group is led by Ahmed Jibril, Assad’s longtime ally.
On Wednesday, Syrian rebels said they made advances in the Palestinian refugee camp nearby where its fighters have been battling with a faction of refugees who were loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
State media also reported that fierce fighting raged in the suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus, as government forces carried out a broad offensive against rebels.
The state-run SANA news agency said that troops have killed “scores of terrorists” — the government term for the rebels fighting to topple Assad.
SANA said Wednesday’s fighting was taking place in the capital’s southern outskirts of Daraya, Harasta, Douma and Hajar Aswad, a neighboring area of Yarmouk.


Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

Updated 20 April 2018
0

Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

  • Syrian government claims Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen
  • Opposition leader says the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire

JEDDAH: Bashar Assad’s forces are using the threat of Daesh to justify brutal acts against civilians, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi said.

His remarks on Thursday came as Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen, surrendered by the terror group six months ago.

At least 13 insurgents were killed in the raid, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Daesh was continuing its advance on the town from the Badia desert, observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The attack was the largest since the terror group was expelled from the town in October 2017, he added.

However, the opposition spokesman described the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire.

“As for those so-called 25 regime soldiers, the regime is abducting people, training them on how to pull the trigger and sending them to die.

“They are being used to send a message that the regime is still fighting terrorism,” Al-Aridi told Arab News.

He claimed that Mayadeen “still holds people who could be classified as Daesh, and the regime exploits that any time it wants.”

Regime airstrikes and artillery fire also pounded Daesh-occupied areas in the south of Damascus on Thursday. Warplanes targeted “the dens of terrorists from Al-Nusra Front and Daesh in Hajjar Al-Aswad,” a southern district of the capital, pro-Assad media said.

Iraq’s air force also carried out “deadly” airstrikes on Daesh positions inside Syria, Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s office said.

Meanwhile, the US warned that the Assad regime could still carry out limited chemical attacks despite last week’s coalition strikes. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the US military’s Joint Staff, said the regime retained a “residual” chemical capability at sites across the country.

Separately, the regime took control of Dumayr, a town northeast of Damascus, after rebels evacuated to north Syria.