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Inside Syria's Yarmouk Refugee Camp


Yarmouk Camp is a 2.11-square-kilometre (0.81 sq mi) district of the city of Damascus, populated byPalestinians, with hospitals and schools. It is located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the center of Damascus and inside the municipal boundaries but when established in 1957, it was outside the surrounding city. Yarmouk is an "unofficial" refugee camp; it was home to the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria. As of June 2002, there were 112,550 registered refugees living in Yarmouk.
During the Syrian Civil War, Yarmouk camp became the scene of intense fighting in 2012 between the Free Syrian Army and thePFLP-GC supported by Syrian Army government forces. The camp then was consequently taken over by various factions and was deprived of supplies, resulting in hunger, diseases and a high death rate, which caused many to leave. By the end of 2014, the camp population had gone down to just 20,000 residents.
In early April 2015, most of the Yarmouk camp was overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, sparking armed clashes with Palestinian militia Aknaf Bait al-Maqdis, associated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, the ISIL attack resulted in 40 ISIL militants killed;[3] Palestinian sources reported about 12 camp residents killed,while Syrian source reported 13 killed; and independent sources also confirmed two fatalities from mortar fire in an adjacent Damascus area. It was reported that despite Palestinian militia resistance and parallel bombing by the Syrian Air Force, ISIL still controlled 90% of the camp by 6 April. The situation in the camp came to the attention of the UN Security Council, which aimed to discuss the prospects of some 18,000 residents of the occupied camp.


















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