Islamic State ‘seizes most of south Damascus Palestinian refugee camp’

Civilians walk past vehicles destroyed by fighting between rebels and Syrian troops in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in south Damascus, Syria, in 2012. Source. (photo credit: AP)

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants infiltrated a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus on Wednesday, marking the deepest foray yet by the extremist group into the capital, seat of President Bashar Assad’s power, Syrian opposition activists and Palestinian officials said.

Jordan, meanwhile, closed its only functioning border crossing with Syria, following heavy clashes on the Syrian side between rebels and government forces.

Isil fighters, who control large swaths of territory in northern Syria, entered the Yarmouk camp from the nearby Hajar Aswad neighborhood in southern Damascus and were clashing with a Palestinian group inside the camp. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Isil took control of large parts of the camp.

If they gain full control of the camp, they can potentially threaten the heart of the capital. Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus, has been under government siege for nearly two years.

UN aid workers have been sending food parcels into the camp, where thousands of civilians remain trapped and in desperate need of food and medicine…

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