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Will the Al-Nusrah Front Announce an Islamic Emirate for Yarmouk Palestinian Camp?

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But there are sections of Yarmouk where the Al Nusra Front is very much in control and are actively setting up social service centers and training bases for arriving recruits from a number of countries as well as, regrettably, some Palestinians. The latter I was advised are mostly unemployed, school dropouts, or perhaps under the sway of a fiery salafist sheik who gives sermons on the virtues of jihad. The recruits are receiving a weapon, some training and cash   and "religious instruction" wherein they are falsely instructed   that the Holy Koran demands of them to liberate Yarmouk from non-believers including those who are not Sunni, and to establish in the liberated areas an Islamic Emirate while dismantling the legacy of Sykes-Picot.

To this latter end, Al Nusra types are currently "cleansing" areas of Yarmouk under their control and attempting to spread into adjoining areas of the camp.  As of 1/4/13 there is not much resistance to their activities as the pro-government armed popular committees such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command have not returned in significant numbers after fleeing nearly two weeks ago.

Some of the camp inhabitants expect that the Syrian army will enter Yarmouk with massive force in an attempt to expel al Nusra Front and their allies but others are saying that the army is very reluctant to do so because it would be accused of destroying a Palestinian refugee camp.

Still others say that it's currently a waiting game until the current crisis is resolved and that they will simply avoid the growing jihadist areas of the camp as best they can until the end of the crisis. This observer detected among several he spoke with, that there exists a certain amount of optimism that the crisis will soon be resolved and they are watching this month's scheduled US-Russia meeting for signs.

Talking with some of the Syrian soldiers at the entrance to Yarmouk, and asking for their assessments, the query often elicits a terse response to the effect that they are "preparing to secure the area and awaiting orders."


 

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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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