Monday, April 06, 2015

Blog #8: "Beyond Inhumane" Syrian Refugee Camp.

Within the Syrian capital, a Palestinian refugee camp was taken by Islamic State militants. Palestinian fighters clashed with these militants in Yarmouk which makes this the extremists' deepest trek into Damascus. This also allowed for the living conditions of the 18,000 Yarmouk residents to worsen. Withe lack of basic medicine, food and water, the United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the matters of Yarmouk. According to Hatem al-Dimashqi, an activist based around the area south of Damascus and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, states that after the heaving fighting on Sunday, there have been smaller clashes on Monday along with the Syrian government using aircrafts to shell the camp and drop barrel bombs. Within the camp the fighting has put Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis, a Palestinian faction opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad against the Islamic State group. Rami Abdurrahman, Observatory director, states that 90% of Yarmouk are now controlled by the Islamic State group who are accused of working with the Nursa Front, a rival of the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. The United Nations agency, UNRWA that supports Palestinian refugees has been unable to send any convoys or food into the camp since the fighting began. The UN says 18,000 civilians which include a large number of children are trapped in Yarmouk. Only 93 have been able to evacuate the camp so far.

Though an emergency meeting with the United Nations Security Council has been scheduled to meet with Pierre Krahenbuhl, the head of the U.N agency for Palestinian refugees, there should be more action taken. Out of 18,000 people trapped within the camp, only a very small percentage have been able to be rescued. Without the agency supplying the civilians, they are living with little food and water and lack of health care. The people living within Yarmouk are already subjected to illnesses and starvation while they are holed up within their houses with violence occurring outside their doors under governmental control. Despite recognizing the political conflict and result of which is happening between the two parties, the United Nations needs to take quicker actions in trying to help the citizens of Yarmouk and securing their safety outside of the fighting.

Rachel Ear
April 6, 2015

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