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Terrorists Shell Southern Damascus: Casualties Reported

Terrorists Shell Southern Damascus: Casualties Reported

Almost two weeks into a campaign to capture the last area near the capital outside government control that has left many parts of the once-teeming Yarmouk camp in ruins, state media said that the al Qadm neighbourhood next to the camp was retaken.

A deal has been reached for the evacuation of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk where Islamic State group fighters have been holed up in southern Damascus, state media reported on Sunday (Apr 29).

That bombardment intensified Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said, as regime forces advanced against Daesh inside the districts.

The camp houses a large population of Palestinian refugees in Syria, but it has been inhabited by both Palestinians and Syrians.

Earlier this month the Assad regime is reported to have launched a chemical weapons attack to defeat the last pockets of resistance in Eastern Ghouta.

Since the beginning of the campaign on April 19, at least 18 civilians have been killed, activists in nearby rebel-held towns said.

Fighters from Isil entered the area in 2015 and quickly defeated other rebel factions, subjecting the remaining residents to a brutal rule similar to that in Raqqa and other areas controlled by the jihadist group.

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It has over the past week seen a dramatic increase in violence.

"Yarmouk and its inhabitants have endured indescribable pain and suffering over years of conflict", said Pierre Krahenbuhl, UNRWA's commissioner-general. "We are deeply concerned about the fate of thousands of civilians, including Palestine refugees, after more than a week of dramatically increased violence", Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general of UNRWA, the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, said in a statement. The Syrian military placed the camp and the surrounding area under siege.

Footage on state TV showed tanks rolling across an open area of fields to the edge of the enclave, which includes parts of al-Qadam district, al-Hajar al-Aswad and the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp.

The deal comes after the Syrian army regained control over the neighborhoods of al-Mazniyeh, al-Qadam, al-Asali and al-Joura.

In the northwest, Syrian and Russian warplanes are also bombarding the last major rebel-held city, Idlib, which is controlled by a coalition of rebel forces, including the Free Syrian Army and Ahrar al-Sham.

More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011 with a deadly crackdown on anti-government protests.