Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 15 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in a rocket attack on a rebel-held refugee camp on the southern edge of Damascus on Wednesday, opposition activists said.
Palestinian militia from the pro-Assad Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), as well as Syrian army and
intelligence troops, have been surrounding the camp for months.
On Saturday they launched a ground infantry assault backed by tanks and
multiple rocket launchers to capture the camp but were being met by
stiff resistance, opposition sources said.
"The rockets hit a residential and shopping area way behind the front
line. The victims were civilians," activist Rami al-Sayyed from the
Syrian Media Centre opposition monitoring group, said from the area,
adding that 45 people were wounded.
The report could not be independently confirmed. The Syrian government restricts access to journalists.
The Yarmouk Camp Coordination Committee said two Grad missiles fired by PFLP-GC militia hit the Hamdan Bakery area. Five women and five children were killed. One family living in the area, Fadlon, had five
members killed, the organisation said.
Yarmouk links the large rebel held Sunni Muslim neighbourhoods of Hajar al-Aswad and Asali with the capital and its capture is a key objective for loyalist forces seeking to regain control over southern Damascus, opposition sources said.