Syria Hits Back at U.N. over Palestinian Refugees

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syria on Monday hit back at the United Nations over the fate of Palestinian refugees after U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon voiced "grave concern" following a deadly air strike on Yarmuk camp in southern Damascus.

"The United Nations and international community are responsible for the frustrations of the Palestinians because they have not implemented U.N. resolutions related to their legitimate rights," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said.

"Syria offered something to our Palestinian brothers decades ago that no other Arab host country has offered," he told Ban in a telephone call, quoted by state news agency SANA.

The foreign minister was referring to the granting of equal social rights and to living conditions in Syria's Palestinian refugee camps, long considered the best in the region.

Sunday's air strike on Yarmuk carried out by the Syrian military was the first against the country's Palestinian refugee camps, whose residents are divided over the 21-month conflict between rebels and regime forces.

Clashes since Sunday have pitted the pro-regime Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command against rebel fighters, some of them also Palestinians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The pro-regime newspaper al-Watan said on Monday that street battles between the PFLP-GC and insurgents in Yarmuk had "forced the army to intervene with air attacks on the positions of the gunmen."

Ban said the air attack on Sunday on Yarmuk camp was "a matter of grave concern," as activists said at least eight people were killed, and he warned both sides that attacks on civilians could amount to "war crimes".

"The secretary general is alarmed by the continued dramatic escalation of violence in Syria over the past several days, and the grave danger facing civilians in areas under fire," said U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky.

Muallem said the jihadist al-Nusra Front had entered the camp with artillery and attacked a hospital.

Washington last week blacklisted al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organization. Originally known for its deadly car bombings, the hardline group has become one of the most effective rebel forces on front-lines across Syria.

According to Muallem, the fighting in Yarmuk was between "terrorist groups receiving financial support and arms from some neighboring countries and the popular committees of the PFLP-GC".

"Be careful, Palestinian brothers," the foreign minister warned. "Do not harbor or assist these terrorist groups who are alien to the camp, but work to expel them."

He stressed that "the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of her people and liberation of the occupied territories are the goals that Syria is struggling to achieve."

Comments 4
Thumb chrisrushlau 17 December 2012, 19:57

What do people in Lebanon think of this UN Secretary General?

Thumb jcamerican 18 December 2012, 10:40

It depends which camp followers you are asking. They are advised by their leaders what to choose.

Thumb JabalElFersan 18 December 2012, 02:23

It's the Syrian government right to fight terrorists or anyone that assists terrorists on its own soil. Ban Ki Moon is concerned about the escalation of the violence? Why not look at the countries that are supporting and arming the terrorist groups?

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 18 December 2012, 08:34

"Syria offered something to our Palestinian brothers decades ago that no other Arab host country has offered," he told Ban in a telephone call, quoted by state news agency SANA.

What's that? a leash?