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The battle for Yarmouk is Syria’s Stalingrad

22 January 2014

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The camp at Yarmouk – the largest centre of Palestinian refugees in Syria – is more of a small town than a refugee camp. There are no tents to be seen, but instead streets of houses that are home to every strata of Palestinian society and complete with all the necessary infrastructure and amenities, from hospitals and schools to internet cafes and beauty parlours.

Given its pivotal location as a gateway to Damascus city, the capture of Yarmouk has long been a strategic goal for the takfiri terrorists, who succeeded in completely taking control of the camp towards the end of 2012.

As a result of two years of fierce fighting, the camp’s former population of 250,000 has now dwindled to 18,000, creating many thousands of new refugees, and leaving those who remain to suffer severe hardships. Women in labour have died, the wounded cannot be treated, and malnutrition is rising as food supplies sink dangerously low.

Much has been made of the siege of Yarmouk in western and comprador Arab media outlets, with imperialist-aligned politicians and commentators shedding crocodile tears over the fate of the Palestinians of the camp.

What is not reported, however, is that despite the tragic fact that some Palestinians have been persuaded to side with the rampaging western-backed militias, many more have volunteered to join the Syrian Arab Army in fighting the terrorists.

The Press TV report linked to above makes it clear that the battle for Yarmouk is pivotal in the battle for Syria, and, since both sides know this, the fighting to recapture every house and building is intense. The retreating terrorists are looting, burning and destroying houses as they go, in what has been described as a ‘scorched-earth policy‘.

The battle for Yarmouk is not only one to save the remaining refugees in the camp – it could well be described as Syria’s Stalingrad.

Meanwhile, as western NGOs try to blame the Syrian government for the suffering of civilians, Palestinian activists from inside the camp told Ma’an news agency last week that PLO supply trucks loaded with medicine and food have been prevented from entering the camp by ‘rebels’ firing shells at them from inside.

Our aid convoys have been fired on by Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and Suqur al-Golan. All these groups are known for their terrorist links and methodology. Palestinians everywhere know that those who have taken Yarmouk hostage are these groups, not the Syrian authorities.

Palestinian labour minister Ahmad Majdalani

More from Ahmad Majdalani’s press conference (cited above).

As a small contribution to countering the imperialist media’s narrative surrounding the siege, I am reproducing here some useful insights from comrades in the Arab world with direct connections to present and former residents of the camp:

With the suffering of the Palestinian and Syrian people in Yarmouk reaching a fever pitch, let it never be forgotten that this entire tragedy began with the takfiri scourge entering the once vibrant city in December 2012.

Due to its geographical location as a strategic gateway into Damascus, Yarmouk is being held hostage by various terrorist groups which are also blocking all humanitarian aid delivery attempts by the Syrian Arab Army and the PLO.

As is the case with the destruction of the nation as a whole, this catastrophe falls on the rebels and their zionist-imperialist backers that inflicted this ‘uprising’ on Syria to begin with, not those defending their country from it.

It should also be noted that unlike the rest of the Arab world, where denigration, indignity and even outright racism have befallen them, the Palestinian people are well treated in Syria; they are citizens of Syria and equals.

They are given the same access to the nation’s top-notch education and healthcare programmes, the region’s best before the ‘uprising’, as well as social security benefits, and there are Palestinians who serve in the government, the nation’s armed forces and other important institutions throughout the country.

Yet another reason why the Syrian Arab Republic has been targeted with this conspiracy: because it refused to abandon the Palestinian cause and treat the Palestinian people in the same disgraceful manner that the zionists’ treacherous Arab allies have since the Nakba.

Before the takfiris arrived, Yarmouk was a beautiful place, inhabited by Syria’s best: doctors, engineers, lawyers, professors, writers and resistant youth full of promise and hope. The zionists couldn’t be happier with what is taking place there today.

Via Sarah Abdallah in Lebanon

The PFLP have constantly blamed the takfiris for the siege. They said they have taken over the camp, and they won’t leave. They now shoot at anyone trying to bring in food.

The Saudis want them to starve the Palestinians so they can use their photos on social media and western papers to demonise Al-Assad; that’s the sick mentality they have. They had no problem slaughtering people in the past and blaming Syrian troops.

Sometimes I listen to some Saudi ‘intellectuals’ on TV expressing their ‘sorrow’ for the fate of the Palestinians in the Yarmouk camp and my jaw just drops.

Really??? The Palestinians were dying under F16s, Apaches and bombs and you never lifted a finger, nor showed any outrage on your sick media. Nor did you write an article showing support. You stood by America when bombs fell on both Lebanon and Gaza and you did not give a damn. Hypocrites.

Via Fatima Madani

I have witnessed the [formerly] thriving Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. I’ve been there and it was as if it was a piece of sovereign Palestinian soil.

Via Abbas Falasteen Hamideh

I want to agree with Sarah again in regards to how the Palestinians have been treated in Syria.

I haven’t been to Yarmouk but some of my closest comrades whom I’ve been close to for years and Palestinians from Yarmouk can definitely confirm that.

It’s important to note that Syria sent food and weapons to Gaza when the violence broke out by the hands of the zionists.

I also agree with Fatima’s comments on the PFLP. This is true. They’ve been the main force trying to protect the Palestinians.

Via Samia Saleh

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gitte Jensen permalink
    24 January 2014 1:39pm

    Thank you joti brar – link to comments in Al-Akhbar (English) is :http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/18210/#comments where I posted under nickname Fakhri Ajloun, I was puzzled by Amal Saad Ghorayb opinion as I always respected and agreed with her analyses and political views – nobody is blaming the 180 000 plus innocent Palestinians who were forced to flee Yarmuk – we ARE blaming the foreign takfiri terrorists and their supporters who infiltrated Yarmuk and ruled by the gun law from December 2012.

  2. Gitte Jensen permalink
    24 January 2014 1:46pm

    Sorry wrong page – my comments were :: Submitted by Fakhri Ajlun (not verified) on Fri, 2014-01-17 08:51.

    Correct Al-Amin – the responsibility for the suffering of residents of Yarmuk lies with the jihadi thugs who infiltrated and then took over the camp by force and their deluded local Hamas supporters. What were they thinking ? That somehow the Palestinian cause and their situation in Syria would be advanced by attacking the very State which gave them refuge, and ALONE amongst the Arabs actually supported various resistance movements including Saíqa, PLA and PFLP-GC ? And now these takfiri foreign Wahhabi Wanabees are slowly being pushed back by the local militia, PFLP-GC, NDF and SAA they are crying for help ! Over a year ago Al-Akhbar reported :
    A prominent leader of the PFLP-GC told Al-Akhbar that the “situation is extremely dangerous. The FSA has taken over large parts of the camp, including areas that once belonged to the General Command, forcing many of our fighters to retreat.”
    He added that the living conditions in the camp have completely collapsed, without any possibility of sending in supplies and medical aid, not to mention that the whole area’s electricity has been cut.
    “If the camp falls under the control of the FSA and the jihadi Islamists,” he said, “it will become a launching pad for military operations, and it is the camp residents who will pay a heavy price.”
    Report by Anas Zarzar, Marah Mashi – AL-AKHBAR English- 17 DEC 2012
    Well the PFLP-GC has been right all along . The solution to the plight of civilian suffering is simple – the armed jihadi thugs and gangs should stop their insane war, lay down their weapons and surrender. Those who want to die for jihad should go to Israel.

Trackbacks

  1. The battle for Yarmouk is Syria’s Stalingrad | Syria Solidarity Movement
  2. The battle for Yarmouk is Syria’s Stalingrad | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog
  3. SSM STATEMENT ON YARMOUK | Syria Solidarity Movement
  4. SSM STATEMENT ON YARMOUK | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

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