1 Feb 2014

Hundreds of Syrian refugees evacuated from Yarmouk

Syria’s regime and opposition forces evacuate hundreds of refugees from the Yarmouk camp on the outskirts of Damascus.

Hundreds of refugees have been evacuated from the Yarmouk camp on the outskirts of Damascus

In a rare instance of co-operation, Syria’s government and opposition forces have worked together to evacuate hundreds of refugees from the Yarmouk camp, in an area controlled by opposition forces.

A spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, which is active in Yarmouk, said the group had coordinated with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent today and yesterday to evacuate hundreds of residents in the suburb.

The refugees were moved to several government-run hospitals and one operated by the Red Crescent, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.

According to the UN at least 15 people have died from malnutrition in Yarmouk, which was originally a Palestinian refugee camp now housing 18,000 Palestinians and some Syrians.

An estimated 250,000 people are trapped by fighting in Syria. Giving access to humanitarian groups was a key goal in peace talks held in Geneva last week, but the regime and opposition delegates were unable to agree an aid convoy to reach about 2,500 trapped in Homs, even though the government said women and children were free to leave the city.

Syria’s refugee crisis is thought to be the worst since World War II. Britain plans to take in hundreds of the most vulnerable refugees, but the head of Save the Children said it should take thousands more.