Yarmouk's dismantled truce puts suffering town at unprecedented level of precarity

Published March 3rd, 2014 - 05:00 GMT

The truce in the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in southern Damascus was broken Sunday with shelling and firefights enveloping the area, according to Agence France Presse Sunday.

"There was shelling of Yarmouk and fighting between (the Al Qaeda-linked) Al Nusra Front and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). The truce has been broken," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.

Each side has blamed the other for breaking the ceasefire that began in mid-February in the town besieged by regime forces and where over 40,000 people have been trapped in "inhumane conditions" since Summer 2013 due to limited and blocked aid flows due to the siege.

The truce was initially agreed to when Nusra fighters withdrew from the camp in mid-Febraury. However, Nusra released a statement Sunday accusing the regime of breaking their side of the deal where they agreed to allow aid flows into the area for the suffering people.

According to Nusra's statement, they withdrew from Yarmouk due to the humanitarian situation, but only "a very small number of food parcels" had been actually distributed to the people, falling short of the agreed-upon level of aid.

Pro-regime PFLP-GC says that Nusra however, broke the deal by re-entering the camp Sunday.

"This morning, Al Nusra Front returned once again to Yarmouk camp, disrupting the peace initiative whose aim was to address the tragedy of the hostage camp," said PFLP-GC spokesman Anwar Raja.

UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), who has attempted to distribute aid to the people within Yarmouk has only managed to hand out 7,500 food parcels since January due to the area's security conditions and blocked aid routes.

Since the start of the conflict, the population of Yarmouk has shrunk from 150,000 to 40,000, eighteen thousand whom are Palestinians.

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