News / Middle East

    Syrian Warplanes Bomb Palestinian Camp in Damascus

    Syrian people seen near a damaged building after it was attacked by a Syrian Army Jet in Azaz, Syria, Sunday, Dec 16, 2012.
    Syrian people seen near a damaged building after it was attacked by a Syrian Army Jet in Azaz, Syria, Sunday, Dec 16, 2012.
    VOA News

    Syrian opposition activists say government warplanes have bombed a Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital, Damascus, killing at least eight people.

    The activists said Sunday's air strike was the first of its kind on the Yarmouk refugee camp since forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad began suppressing a popular uprising in March 2011. They said at least some of those killed were in a mosque struck by a missile.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Yarmouk raid was one of six government air strikes on southern areas of Damascus on Sunday. Rebels have been trying to advance from those areas into central Damascus, the seat of Assad's power.

    Meanwhile, a Lebanese newspaper quoted Syria's vice president as saying neither the rebels nor the government can win the conflict militarily. In a report Sunday, Al-Akhbar said Farouk al-Sharaa made the rare public comment in an interview with the pro-Syrian newspaper. There was no immediate response to the report from the Syrian government.

    If confirmed, al-Sharaa's comment would represent a departure from the Syrian government's stated determination to defeat what it sees as foreign-backed terrorists trying to end Assad's 12-year rule.

    The paper quoted the vice president as saying the government is "not in a battle for the survival of an individual or a regime."

    In another quote, al-Sharaa purportedly said a solution to the conflict must involve "regional countries" and members of the U.N. Security Council, the stopping of all violence, and the creation of a "national unity government with wide powers."

    Elsewhere, an Islamist rebel faction claimed to have seized an army academy near the northern city of Aleppo after days of fighting with government troops. The Tawheed brigade posted a video on its website Sunday, showing fighters walking around the base, while exchanges of fire could be heard in the background.

    The army academy appears to be the latest Syrian military installation to fall to the rebels this month around Aleppo, Syria's commercial capital.

    At the Yarmouk camp, the Observatory said fighting erupted after the air strike, with Syrian rebels and their Palestinian allies battling a Palestinian faction loyal to Assad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). Syria is home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, whose loyalties have been divided by the Syrian civil war.

    The government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the international community to take action to stop attacks on Palestinians in Syria.

    There was no independent confirmation of the casualties at Yarmouk or the fighting at the military academy because Syria bars independent journalists from reporting freely. 

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    Comments
         
    by: adipocere from: Alabama
    December 17, 2012 12:57 AM
    This article is a shameful attempt to associate Palestine with the Syrian "opposition" and to propagate the idea that the US is neutral in this conflict.
    My favorite part is at the end:
    "There was no independent confirmation of the casualties at Yarmouk or the fighting at the military academy because Syria bars independent journalists from reporting freely."
    I didn't know the US govt officials were were so underpaid they have to moonlight as "independent journalists."
    "The Broadcasting Board Governors (BBG) became the independent entity responsible for all U.S. Government and government-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting on October 1, 1999... the BBG assumed authority for the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) and its broadcasting services – the Voice of America (VOA) and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB). The Board also oversees three grantee organizations, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN)." - http://www.bbg.gov/about-the-agency/history/
    In Response

    by: Hans from: Canada
    December 17, 2012 9:04 PM
    Don't worry once the US government has finished repealing the smith-mund act your government will have no legal obligation to tell the American public the truth, then there will be no truth out there in the media.
    As far as Syria goes, the rebels are now holding a Russian Journalist hostage for $50M and are threatening to execute her. The rebels have also tried to set up many foreign journalists to be killed but the Army. In fact there are many independent journalists in the country but you won't hear about them if they are not reporting what Goldman Sacs/the US State Department wants them to.

    by: Hans from: Canada
    December 16, 2012 8:09 PM
    You are being lied to, this is about stopping/controlling the vast wealth of the future Paes pipeline and that is all. Assad like any dictator/Baathist had vocal "Expat opponents in the US, Canada and other countries who wanted reform but they wanted democracy...freedom...opportunity etc. not this Saudi Qatari funded Salfist/Wahhabism/islamic brother-hood. When you look into it what this war is really about is controlling the wealth and possible the direction of the Northern Pars pipeline. Coincidental is the fact that in 2008 Israel discovered the largest off shore gas field ever 50miles form its coast in territorial waters which it will never share with another people looking for statehood. At the same time Europe’s media has got the public in a frenzy to move to natural gas power generation and Syria (a country that already signed on to the PARS pipeline) happens to be a convenient route; hence the new relationship between the Saudi Royal Family and the Israeli government among others to make the new Israeli gas deposit Europe’s main supply. There is a writer named William Engdahl who has a great short essay on this.

    by: PHIL from: Newcastle UK
    December 16, 2012 9:05 AM
    FSA were warned by Syrian Army and Palestinians not to enter Yarmouk Camp (population 1million) and that they would be fought by military and Palestinians if they did enter. Well they tried to force their way in and are now being fought. 103 dead as of one hour ago. The 'activists' reporting this are the FSA including al Nusra Front
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    December 18, 2012 9:22 AM
    Palestinians should be helping rid Assad too. A group effort.

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