Liveblogging events in Syria Friday, The Guardian reported:
Whole neighbourhoods have been destroyed in the last 24 hours in the bombardment of the Yarmouk Palestinian camp [in Damascus], according to an activist in the area.
Speaking to the Guardian, Mahmoud Nasar, said:
Since last night Yarmouk has become a target for Syria military rockets. They bombed Yarmouk from Qassum mountain. There are a lot of casualties because it was a civilian neighbourhood that was bombed. We have the names of ten people who died, and around 70 or 75 wounded. All of them are civilians.
In a call interrupted by the sound of a shell landing, he added: “We have never seen shelling like this before. They used very big mortars. I saw one of the explosions, it was very very strong. A building with two floors came down.”
Nasar speculated that the government was trying to clear the area to attack Free Syrian Army positons in neighbouring districts.
I can assure your that there are no Free Syrian Army soldiers in Yarmouk.
The regime targeted Yarmouk to send a message to the Palestinian refugees and Syrians that there is no safe place – and we can get you where ever you are.
Today about 25 bombs have landed on Yarmouk and have destroyed whole neighbourhoods. They bombed Ja’ouneh Street [scene of shelling of last month].
We think the regime wants to clear this neighbourhood between Yarmouk and Tadamon [to the north-east]. We are talking about 1km [square], because the Free Syrian Army is very strong in Tadamon and Hajar al-Aswad [to the south see map bellow]. They want to use Yarmouk.
When the bombs and rockets came down all the houses in Yarmouk shook.
Shelling of Yarmouk:
Certainly the Palestinians in Yarmouk are not the only victims of the Assad regime’s brutality in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria. But you might think that a bombardment aimed at Palestinians would incur the outrage of all those who profess to be “pro-Palestinian.”
You would, of course, be wrong. The websites of the International Solidarity Movement, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign continue to ignore the suffering and death of the Palestinians in Syria.
Until I see a mention of Yarmouk on one of these sites, I will have to conclude that “pro-Palestinian” is just another term for “anti-Israel”– that any sympathy these organizations profess for Palestinians is far outweighed by their hatred for the world’s only Jewish-majority state.
Update: Reuters reports:
Syrian troops stormed into a Palestinian refugee district in Damascus, opposition activists said, after a four-day artillery assault on the southern suburb where rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad have dug in.
Assad’s forces have preferred to use air power and artillery to hit areas where rebels are positioned and infantry raids normally occur only once many have fled. Activists said they feared for civilian inhabitants in the latest offensive.
Syrian activist Abu Yasser al-Shami said that his friends living in Yarmouk, a densely populated Palestinian refugee camp where 10 people were killed on Friday in shelling, had fled the area on Saturday morning after government troops swept in.
“Assad’s forces stormed al-Basel hospital in Yarmouk Camp and arrested many of the injured civilians,” he said over Skype.