Damascus (GPA) – The Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus has nearly been cleared of the previously heavy Daesh presence.
Today may a victory for both the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) as well as Palestinians in the diaspora who have seen the Yarmouk refugee camp mostly cleared of the Zionist proxy, Islamic State. This comes after Yarmouk spent years as a live battlefield, first between the SAA and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on one side, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their allies within the camp, Liwa al-Asifa on the other in 2012.
The camp was later taken over by Daesh in April 2015, in what was known as the Battle of Yarmouk. The FSA was attacked by Daesh, possibly in cooperation with al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Jahbat al-Nusra, and driven out of the camp, leaving Daesh in charge of the fight against the SAA for the past three years. During this period much of the camp was destroyed and the over 140,000 are estimated to have fled the camp.
Since then Yarmouk has been under siege by the SAA, with the Daesh forces refusing to surrender and hiding behind Palestinians.
As of this weekend, this saga of takfiri violence finally seems to be nearing a close as at least some of the remaining fighters and their ‘families’ boarded buses in fulfillment of an agreement with Damascus. According to reports on the ground, the convoy included six buses with about room for 50 passengers on each. According to reports, the buses will be heading the Badia region, on the Syria-Jordan border
While the western media has been spinning the fight in Yarmouk as “Assad slaughtering Palestinians,” today is actually a reason to celebrate. While much of Yarmouk has been destroyed by the years of fighting, it is at least takfiri free and can possibly start the business of reconstruction in a way similar to what has been witnessed in liberated areas like Aleppo.
It remains unclear if the fighters leaving Yarmouk are in fact the final fighters left in the area. Earlier today a video was released of Russian troops firing on what are possibly remaining Daesh fighters. However, even if this is the case it still seems the fight for Yarmouk is almost over and has the SAA’s and Russia’s full attention. If there are any Daesh left hiding in Yarmouk it won’t make much difference, and this will be a victory for the SAA when all is said and done. The reports have yet to be confirmed by the SAA but Damascus and Daesh have been negotiating the takfiri’s withdrawal from the camp so this is a likely outcome.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.