UN: Syrian Camp Overrun by ISIS 'Beyond Inhumane'

ISIS reportedly controls 90% of Yarmouk
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2015 11:14 AM CDT
UN: Syrian Camp Overrun by ISIS 'Beyond Inhumane'
This picture taken on Jan. 31, 2014 shows residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, queuing to receive food supplies, in Damascus, Syria.   (AP Photo/UNRWA, File)

The head of a UN agency for Palestinian refugees says the situation at Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus is "more desperate than ever." Pierre Krahenbuhl says it has been impossible for the UNRWA to send food or convoys into Yarmouk—home to 18,000, including 3,500 children—where fighting between Palestinians and ISIS continued yesterday, the AP reports. Now, refugees have no food or water and "very little medicine," says Krahenbuhl. "The situation in the camp is beyond inhumane," a UNRWA rep adds. The UN Security Council has ordered safe evacuation and protection for refugees, as well as humanitarian access to the camp. Officials say ISIS controls about 90% of Yarmouk and is pushing out members of Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis who are opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists say the Syrian government has also been shelling Yarmouk since Sunday, Reuters reports. Earlier, the Palestine Liberation Organization told Reuters there were "reports of kidnappings, beheadings, and mass killings" at the camp. It isn't clear how many people have died. "People are holed up in their houses, there is fighting in the streets," the UNRWA rep says. "There are reports of...bombardments. This has to stop and civilians must be evacuated." He says about 93 people were evacuated Sunday, though the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says hundreds have fled in the past two days. The Palestinian UN ambassador gives a much larger number, noting some 2,000 refugees have escaped. He presses countries to work with the UN to ensure their safe passage. (More al-Nusra Front stories.)

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