Battles raging in Damascus refugee area
Clashes between rebels and armed Palestinians loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have continued in a Damascus neighbourhood inhabited by many Palestinian refugees. Residents in Yarmouk camp said several mortar rounds landed in the neighbourhood on Tuesday and gunfire echoed around the area. Locals said there were no Syrian government troops in the camp and that most of the fighting was between opposition fighters and gunmen from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC). Government troops have been deployed outside the camp, and were preventing anyone from entering.
Activists said fighter jets bombarded the area and posted footage online purporting to show smoke billowing in the sky after the attack.
Tensions have increased after a regime air raid killed at least eight people on Sunday. Tens of thousands of the residents have fled the violence rocking the 2.1 square-kilometre area. Rebels have launched an offensive to drive the PFLP-GC out of the area, 8km from the city centre, as they try to push deeper into the capital in a bid to topple the Assad regime.
UNRWA said it was "gravely concerned" for the Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk who "have experienced particularly intense armed engagements involving the use of heavy weapons and aircraft".
Posted by: Pappy 2012-12-19