Yarmouk ‘yet one more outrageous war crime’: UN

Posted on 07/05/2019 / Posted by admin / Category 深圳桑拿网

(Transcript from World News Radio)

 

The United Nations is warning of what it calls a massacre in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria.

深圳桑拿网

 

Thousands of Palestinians and Syrians are trapped in the Yarmouk refugee camp just outside the capital Damascus.

 

Santilla Chingaipe has the details.

 

The Yarmouk refugee camp was once home to some 160-thousand Palestinians before the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

 

It housed refugees from the 1948 war of Israel’s founding, and their descendants.

 

But since the beginning of the month, when the self-proclaimed Islamic State group launched an offensive to take control of the camp, many residents have been killed and others are trying to escape.

 

An estimated 17,500 residents are currently in the camp, with around 2,000 evacuated since the latest round of fighting.

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says some refugees are being held hostage by I-S, also known as Daesh, with others under the control of Syrian government forces and other militant groups.

 

“The Yarmouk refugee camp is the deepest circle of hell. After more than two years of a merciless siege, 18,000 Palestine refugees and Syrians are now being held hostage by Da’esh and other extremist militants. The refugee camp is beginning to resemble a death camp. The residents of Yarmouk – including 3,500 children — are being turned into human shields. They face a double-edged sword – armed elements inside the camp, and government forces outside. We are now hearing worrying reports of a massive assault on the camp and all civilians in it. This would be yet one more outrageous war crime for which those responsible must be held accountable.”

 

Mr Ban has called for an immediate end to the fighting.

 

“The epic humanitarian catastrophe in Yarmouk represents an epic test of the international community’s resolve. Surely we can all agree that what is unfolding in Yarmouk is unacceptable. Surely, we can all act to end the suffering. Surely, we can all refuse to tolerate the intolerable. It is time for concerted action to save lives and restore a measure of humanity. We simply cannot stand by and watch a massacre unfold. The people of Yarmouk must not be abandoned.”

 

Palestinian factions have agreed to Syrian government action to expel I-S from Yarmouk.

 

It is not clear, however, if the agreement involves all Palestinian groups.

 

Palestinian envoy to Syria, Ahmad Majdalani from the Palestine Liberation Organisation, says they will establish a joint operations room with the Syrians to oversee the operation in the camp.

 

(translated) “We are working cooperatively and yesterday there was a meeting between Palestinian national factions and we agreed to have this as an open meeting, as a political leadership that is on the ground in Syria. We agreed to maintain coordination with the Syrian leadership. We also agreed to set up a joint operations room between Syrian forces and Palestinian factions that have a noticeable military existence inside or around the camp in order to continue this clean military operation.”

 

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