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Rebel controlled Yarmouk Palestinian Camp empties pending government counter-attack

By       Message Franklin P. Lamb       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Yesterday morning I assumed Souha was in Lebanon and had arrived to Saida. Then I began to hear the unsettling news of long lines at the Maznaa crossing from Syria into Lebanon.  The news got worse.  Thousands of Palestinian refugees were lined up, some waiting for 10 hours or more to cross and many being refused entry into by Lebanese General Security because of  "inadequate documents." Many right now are being forced to return to Damascus.

 

 Lebanon has an international humanitarian duty to ease entry and to assist refugees, as required by well-established and globally accepted international law. But with the exception of Zionist occupied Palestine, Lebanon has the worst human rights record toward Palestinians than any country on earth. The Lebanese Parliament still refuses to grant Palestinian refugees in Lebanon the elementary right to work or to own a home.  Even though according to various economic studies, if Palestinians could work, they would help dramatically to build Lebanon's weak economy.

 

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 During the morning of 12/19/12 the news got even worse regarding Souha. Someone from Reuters sent me a published photo showing her stuck on a bus at Maznaa for over 12 hours.  According to one report she was forced to return to Damascus. Wherever Souha is she is hopefully someone is helping her.

 

Ahmed Jebril, an ally of the Syrian government is blaming foreign paid terrorists for the attack that is forcing the emptying of Yarmouk and also the rather quick defeat of his fighters. He and his GC staff told this observer that the General Command had no plans to attempt to return to Yarmouk.  Reports from the camp claim that more than half of the GC's 1000 fighters, mainly younger ones, defected to the rebels.  It is difficult to know the truth, but it is fairly clear that Yarmouk has substantially been emptied and that government forces are surrounding the camp, presumably in preparation for a massive counter-attack and or aerial bombardment.

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One statement that Ahmed Jebril, who contrary to a New York Times report, has not fled to Iran or Tartous, made that is probably accurate is that "As Yarmouk goes, so goes Damascus.  As Damascus goes, so goes Syria". Jebril's aid Anwar Raja said that the camp will be used by the rebels to destroy the airport and to launch their "final assault" into the center of Damascus.  They showed this observer fragments of "home made' weapons similar to those collected from around Syria by military intelligence who in late October briefed this observer.

 

The near term will reveal the fate of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and who, in the coming battle, are the winners.  But it is sure that Souha and all Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from their homes in Palestine are once again the losers.

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)
 

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