Yarmouk Camp Between The Hunger Hammer and The Extremism Anvil

Syrian-Palestinians are eating from the garbage.

Syrian-Palestinian eating from the garbage. Photo taken 03/03/2015 by LensDimashqi on Tumblr. Used under CC.BY. 2.0

This Post was originally written for Global Voices

After almost 2 years of siege, crisis in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugees camp in Syria worsened since ISIS invasion in 1st of April 2015. Both Assad regime and ISIS are rushing to take the camp by force. Around10 miles away from the presidential palace, Assad start bombing by dropping barrels bombs over the head of the people who retreated to their food-empty residences and afraid to take streets full of armed extremists, while according to news being circulated on social media, ISIS is arresting, executing and beheading the camp figures and clashing with other oppositions armed groups.

Many activists blame ISIS invasion to Assad regime’s army loose and pointed out that at a time when it is impossible to enter food and medical aid to the Palestinian refugee camp, ISIS appeared suddenly inside the camp.

The Hammer, Hunger to Death

“To know what it is like in Yarmouk, turn off your electricity, water, heating, eat once a day, live in the dark, live by burning wood.” – Anas, Yarmouk resident.

According to Unrwa, this is the situation of 18,000 Palestinian refugees -Of the 160,000 used to live in the camp- remain trapped in Yarmouk Camp of Damascus with no successful distribution has been completed since 6 December 2014. Though that people took the streets on January 18th to protest the siege imposed by the Assad regime since July 2013, the crisis yet leaving at least 200 people dead from starvation. After a year of posting a video showing the desperate of distributing food in Yarmouk Camp-Syria, yet, the documentary “Siege” emerges from the heart of the camp in 3rd of April. The short film records the daily life in four sketches reflect people’s suffers of food and utilities shortage.

Another video posted in 6th of Feb, 2015 by sami alselwadi shows a Palestinian refugee resident blames his government of leaving the camp to starve to death without taking an action against Assad regime. Then the footage move to a what believe a truck full of bread been distributed to people by throwing the packages to the air for a lucky catcher. In his words, the man blame Abbas, the Palestinian president:

All this is hunger, Abbas. You are in Ramalla, and you don’t know what your Palestinian people is suffering here. Thousands of people are in hunger here. Where are you from this? Shame on you.

ISIS claims it is there to help the besieged refugees of Yarmouk Camp. But this is what they do.

ISIS claims it is there to help the besieged refugees of Yarmouk Camp. But this is what they do. Photo via @AlaaAllagta. Used under CC. BY 2.0

The anvil, Extremism to Death

As on 1st of April, reports on social media confirmed that Islamic State has entered the besieged camp and controls 90% of the area. Netizens roam the news flood of this dramatic development where Twitter users reported that ISIS entered the camp after ALNusra front, affiliate of ALQaeda in Levant, eases their sneaking from Hajar Aswad, neighboring town.

Tom Finn and Linah Alsaafin explain the sudden appearance of ISIS and how they approach the camp from neighbor town.

While Talal Alyan shares a photo from inside the camp.

A map of the parties who control the camp was shared by Rami Allolah to his 16K followers showing the fragmented area controlled between ISIS, Palestinians armed groups, FSA (Free Syrian Army), Assad army and ALNusrah.

Activists didn’t wait for long to report ISIS horrifying and killing news which start to spill into the news stream as Raqqa_SI confirmed to his +21K followers.

About Rami Alhames

I'm a Syrian Brazilian, Freelance Translator and Social media contributor @GlobalVoices @GVinArabic, Meedan, in Portuguese, Arabic and English.
This entry was posted in Arab Spring, Arabic, Crises, Culture & Life, English, History, Photos, Video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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