The notorious Islamic States(IS) has descended upon a refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria. And as the terror group lays siege to ninety-percent of the camp for some 18,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugees, the United Nations(UN) is expressing extreme concern over the safety of the already displaced persons there.
Yarmouk, Syria, was once home to about 500,000 Palestinians and Syrians prior to the Syrian war. Today, the town has been transformed into a refugee camp for 18,000 Syrian and Palestinian refugees who have been displaced, starved, bombed and besieged by the Syrian army. Disease has also contributed to the demise of the town's population. The camp, located just a few miles from Damascus, has also suffered militia control during the war.
Now, the IS has taken control over much of the refugee camp displacing an anti-Assad group, Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis, and according to a Reuters report earlier this morning, the IS has already killed 21 fighters and civilians since Friday evening.
Tayseer Abu Baker, head of the Palestinian Liberation Front in Syria, told Reuters:"Some families are trying to exit the camp but with Islamic State snipers on rooftops of high buildings that is very difficult." He said the IS had kidnapped at least 74 people from the camp as civilians try to flee the enveloping wrath.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency(UNRWA) spokesperson Chris Gunness admitted: "The situation in Yarmouk is an affront to the humanity of all of us, a source of international shame." He added: "Yarmouk is a test, a challenge for the international community. We must not fail. The credibility of the international system itself is at stake," Reuters reported.
However, the international community has already failed the dead and the displaced of the Syrian war; and Yarmouk, is but another affirmation of the failings of the international system to remedy and to render relief to the victims of a war, perpetrated by Bashar al Assad's cling to power over a failed state, and his emboldening of extremists to fight against his wretched regime.
Moreover, Yarmouk underscores the deepening humanitarian crisis of the Syrian war that has claimed 220,000 deaths and displaced over 11 million people. There will be more events akin to Yarmouk until Assad has left the Levant. Only then could a meaningful constraint and degrade plan be executed against the IS.