PHOTO: Residents in Yarmouk camp, February 2014
- Report: Rebel Attack Killed and Wounded Dozens in All-Female Regime Sniper Unit
- Rebels Capture Regime’s Last Border Crossing with Jordan
Fighting flared with the Islamic State inside the Yarmouk camp in the southern suburbs of Damascus on Wednesday.
Initial reports said the jihadists had occupied part of the camp, but the rebel faction Jaysh al-Islam said last night that it and the Palestinian group Beit al-Maqdis had regained control.
Yarmouk is home to about 15,000 people, most of them Palestinian refugees. The area had a pre-war population of about 200,000, but almost all its residents have fled amid attacks and a regime siege since 2012.
The fighting began with a dispute between the Islamic State and Beit al-Maqdis, a local Palestinian militia group in Yarmouk and a supporter of the Gazan leadership Hamas. On Monday, Abu Suheib, a Hamas leader and director of a center for education and training at a hospital in Yarmouk, was assassinated in the camp, with Beit al-Maqdis blaming the jihadists. Local militia seized 10 Islamic State members on Tuesday, prompting the jihadists to attack yesterday.
The Islamic State has had a presence in the district of al-Hajar al-Aswad, just south of Yarmouk, for almost a year. A local journalist said the jihadists have about 1,000 members — most of them local men who joined the movement, rather than foreign fighters — in the southern suburbs of Damascus.
Yarmouk has been encircled by the regime for more than two years, with its remaining residents suffering shortages of food and medicine.
A Syrian journalist, Mousa al-Omar, said about 1,000 Islamic State fighters entered Yarmouk with some of their 1,000 fighters in the southern Damascus suburbs. He said well-known media activist Jamal Khalifah was killed in the fighting.
Report: Rebel Attack Killed and Wounded Dozens in All-Female Regime Sniper Unit
Pro-opposition Orient News presents claimed footage of a rebel attack that destroyed a bus carrying members of an all-female regime sniper unit:
Local media activists said the special operations unit of Ajnad a-Sham planned for four months to place an improvised explosive device to blow up a Syrian military vehicle.
Unconfirmed reports said 35 members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps unit were killed or injured in the al-Somaria neighborhood of southern Damascus, near the Mezzeh military airport.
The all-women al-Maghawir brigade is active on the Jobar front in northeast Damascus and beyond.
Rebels Capture Regime’s Last Border Crossing with Jordan
Continuing a series of victories in southern Syria, rebels have taken the regime’s last border crossing with Jordan.
Video and photographs showed opposition fighters celebrating at the Naseeb crossing on Wednesday. Both the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra and units of the Free Syrian Army were reported to be involved in the operation.
The victory, which follows the rebel capture of the nearby town of Busra al-Sham last month, further opens supply routes from Jordan for the opposition.
Processing passports at the crossing: