ISIS Withdraws From Damascus Camp, al-Qaeda Takes Over

Hamas-Linked Fighters Managed to Chase ISIS Out

The ISIS takeover of the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in metro Damascus lasted only a little over a week. They are now said to have lost most of the camp, withdrawing to neighboring Hajar al-Aswad, amid repeated skirmishes with Aknaf al-Maqdis, a Hamas ally.

Yarmouk isn’t necessarily any better off, however, as al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front has moved into the camp as well and seems to be trying to fill the spot ISIS had previously occupied.

The PLO has accused Nusra of cooperating with ISIS in the takeover of the camp, and says they are simply “changing positions” now, suggesting that the fighting may not be over.

At the same time, al-Qaeda’s forces seem to be less aggressive at pushing their weight around in Yarmouk, and aren’t going after the local population the way ISIS was, hoping to keep the strategically valuable camp without fighting.

The situation in the camp has been dreadful throughout the civil war, and seems to be growing worse by the day. The overwhelming majority of the camp’s residents have fled abroad, though those who remain seem to constantly be in harm’s way.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.