Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opposition Factions Ally with Nusra to Clear ISIS out of Yarmouk Camp | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A general view shows a deserted street at the beginning of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ward Al-Keswani

Beirut-Over the few past hours, clashes resumed in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Damascus following the announcement made by a number of the opposition’s factions on their alliance with Al-Nusra Front aiming to kick ISIS terrorist group out of the camp.

A new battle was launched by Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis, Doha al-Islam Brigade, and Jaysh al-Ababil, along with Nusra Front to kick out ISIS, which controls the biggest part of the camp and its surrounding regions.

Sham network reported that clashes resumed on Sunday, accompanied with violent explosives in different hubs, and that the new alliance succeeded in controlling new parts of the camp.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights pointed to the persistence of violent clashes between ISIS and the allied parties in different hubs of the Yarmouk Camp, amidst information on increasing losses from both parties.

On the sixth of April 2016, clashes raged between Nusra and ISIS, following the latter’s decision to attack territories controlled by Nusra. It is worth noting that ISIS attacked the camp for the first time in 2015 in coordination with the Nusra Front, and succeeded in controlling 70% of it.

The assassination of Zahran Alloush, Jaysh al-Islam’s leader, halted the implementation of an agreement that aimed to drive 4,000 militants and civilians, including members from ISIS out of three areas in southern Damascus in the end of December.

Fadel Abdul Ghani, director of the Syrian Network of Human Rights told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the last clashes that kicked off in the Yarmouk camp led ISIS to pull backl. He added that the suspension of supply lines may lead ISIS to withdraw under the pressures of the new alliance including the different opposition’s factions.

Khaled Abdul Majid, secretary general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front said that the factions which allied with the Nusra Front to kick out ISIS from the camp are active outside in the neighboring regions of the camp, and expected the clashes to escalate in the coming days. Abdul Majid told Asharq Al-Awsat that the camp still lodges millions of civilians and that the UNRWA provides them with food aid weekly.