ISIL seizes control of major Palestinian camp from Al Qaida

Special to

Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) has taken control of most of a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus that was held by Al Qaida’s Syria affiliate.

Jihadists in Yarmouk refugee camp. /YouTube
Jihadists in Yarmouk refugee camp. /YouTube

ISIL on April 12 attacked Nusra Front positions “and took control of 60 percent of the (Yarmouk) camp,” Anwar Abdel Hadi, the Palestine Liberation Organization chief in Damascus, told AFP.

Hadi said some 6,000 civilians remain in Yarmouk alongside around 3,000 ISIL jihadists.

“Some Nusra fighters joined (ISIL) ranks. ISIL then besieged the last remaining Nusra positions and demanded that they leave the camp,” he said, adding that at least three civilians were killed in the clashes.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the fighting at Yarmouk, a once a thriving district that was home to some 160,000 Syrians and Palestinians, that has been devastated by violence since late 2012.

ISIL, which had fought alongside Nusra Front forces, had seized parts of the Yarmouk camp in April 2015 from its former allies.