PLO rules out military action in Syria's Yarmouk

Umbrella organisation denies earlier remarks that its factions will fight ISIL alongside Syrian troops in refugee camp.

    ISIL fighters took over large parts of the camp in an assault last week [AP]
    ISIL fighters took over large parts of the camp in an assault last week [AP]

    The Palestine Liberation Organisation says it will not be drawn into military action in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria that has been overrun by fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    The statement late on Thursday contradicted assertions made earlier in the day by a PLO emissary to Damascus, Ahmad Majdalani.

    He said that Palestinian groups are ready to join forces with the Syrian government to expel ISIL from the Yarmouk camp, the Associated Press news agency reported.

    The PLO  said it called for non-military means to "spare the blood of our people" and it refused "to be drawn into any armed campaign."

    The statement came as Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, called for action to prevent a massacre of Palestinian refugees in the camp.

    "What is unfolding in Yarmouk is unacceptable," Ban said at the UN headquarters on Thursday. "We simply cannot stand by and watch a massacre unfold."

    Ban described the situation as "the deepest circle of hell" in Syria's four-year civil war.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has joined a growing chorus of aid groups calling for immediate access to the camp.

    ISIL seized much of the Yarmouk camp on the edge of Damascus last week, establishing a foothold in Damascus for the first time.

    About 18,000 people are left in Yarmouk, following a two-year government siege.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    US: Muslims to become second-largest religious group

    US: Muslims to become second-largest religious group

    By 2050 the number of Muslims is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1 percent, of the total US population.