Aaaand where is Putin???
Don’t look now but ISIS fighters are just a few short miles away from Bashar al-Assad’s Presidential Palace in Syria after taking control of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus where some 18,000 are trapped in what the UN calls a “beyond inhumane” situation. The camp, which has been under siege by the Assad regime for years came under attack by ISIS earlier this month who reports indicate may be working alongside al-Qaeda’s Syrian arm al-Nusra in what would be a break with recent precedent. Some Palestinian factions — who, alongside the Free Syria Army are battling ISIS for control of the camp — have reportedly agreed to acquiesce to an operation by the Assad regime which has offered to provide arms to the Palestinians if it means helping them expel ISIS from the area, although, as the BBC reports, the main Palestinian militia fighting ISIS, Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis (who pledge allegiance to Hamas and are also battling al-Nusra in Yarmouk) have agreed to no such thing. Meanwhile, the Assad government is allegedly using “indiscriminate” barrel bombing in an effort that’s ostensibly designed to weaken ISIS forces.
So summing that up, ISIS, possibly in conjunction with al-Qaeda, have taken control of a strategic refugee camp in Damascus, which was previously under siege by Assad and previously controlled by Hamas-linked militiamen who are not keen on cooperating with Assad, who is offering to arm the Palestinians while simultaneously bombing everyone. As Al Jazeera notes, this is a “siege within a siege”: Continue reading »