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Syrian army deals "deadly blows" to rebels, violence continues at refugee camp

http://english.hebei.com.cn  2012-12-20 11:08

  The Syrian army dealt "deadly blows" to the armed rebels in the southern suburbs of the capital Damascus on Wednesday, the state-media said, as violence continued at the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk.

  The Syrian troops continued on Wednesday its operations in the Damascus' suburb of Daraya, hunting down "terrorists" from the al- Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front, the state-run SANA news agency said, amid reports that Daraya, a scene of intense fighting over the past month, will be purged from armed rebels in the next few days.

  The army has also clashed with armed militias in the orchards of Douma suburb, SANA said, adding that great losses have been inflicted on the armed groups there.

  Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain- based opposition group, said violence is still engulfing the Palestinian refugees' camp of Yarmouk in southern Damascus.

  It said clashes between the army and the rebels are incessant at the surrounding of the camp, after the rebels stormed it a couple of days ago, taking control of it, and sending people fleeing to seek sanctuary elsewhere.

  The clashes in the Yarmouk camp started last Friday, reports said, adding that people are still fleeing the area out of fear of an imminent military showdown there.

  The rebels have pushed in to fight the pro-government Palestinian militias of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General-Command (PFLP-GC), reports said.

  The camp is a house to some 160,000 refugees out of the country 's 500,000 Palestinians. The camp, despite its name as for Palestinians, houses also more than 500,000 Syrians, in a sign of the interrelated relations between the Syrians and Palestinians, who sought refuge in Syria in 1948 following the establishment of the Israeli entity.

  The Syrian government and the rebels are trading accusations about what is going on in the camp amid reports that an inevitable confrontation looms on the horizon.

  Activists said earlier that two airstrikes by Syrian warplane killed many people in the camp, a claim that was denied by the Syrian media and the PFLP-GC.

  Anwar Rajaa, spokesman of the PFLP-GC, told Xinhua on Tuesday that the armed groups have stormed the camp and spread like " Barbarians, Tatars and Mongols."

  Earlier on Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked for international assistance to bring Palestinian refugees in Syria back to the Palestinian territories.

  Abbas urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon to help in this matter "to spare the Palestinians the pains of the bloody conflict."

  The right of return for the Palestinians has for long been in debate amid Israeli rejection. Observers believe that Abbas's request will push the West to practice pressure on the rebels on ground to solve the situation in the Yarmouk camp to avoid new international frenzy about the right of return.

  The latest Palestinian camp issue came as a continuation of the simmering violence in Syria with both the rebels and army seeming unable to settle the situation.

  Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa has said that neither the government nor the rebels could grab a decisive victory as the conflict drags on, confessing that the 21-month-old crisis in deepening with every passing day.

  The international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is expected to arrive in Damascus within few days to present a new initiative to solve the Syrian crisis that has cast dim shadows over the humanitarian situation nationwide.

  The UN appealed on Wednesday for 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to help save millions of suffering Syrians.

  "The violence in Syria is raging across the country and there are nearly no more safe areas where people can flee and find safety," Radhouane Nouicer, UN regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, said Wednesday in Geneva during a briefing.

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