Syrian forces 'take control' of refugee camp hospital
Published Friday 27/07/2012 (updated) 29/07/2012 12:21
A demonstrator holds a poster and shouts slogans during a protest rally
against Syria's President Bashar Assad, at the Venceslas Square in
Prague July 27, 2012. REUTERS/David W Cerny.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Syrian security forces took control of a hospital in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk on Friday, sources in the camp told Ma'an, as fighting continued across the country.
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad detained injured patients from the Palestine Hospital in Damascus, taking them to an unknown destination, sources said.
On Thursday, Syrian forces shelled the hospital twice, causing extensive damage.
Palestinians in Yarmouk told Ma'an that the Syrian army was targeting the hospital because medics were treating wounded from all sides, while Assad's regime only allowed its own soldiers to be treated.
A Red Crescent medical complex also suffered widespread damage from shelling. There is now only one functioning hospital in Yarmouk camp, home to over 110,000 Palestinian refugees.
Aid promised to the camp by the Palestinian consulate in Damascus has failed to materialize, sources said.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian man was killed on Friday amid escalating attacks by forces loyal to Bashar Assad in Syria's largest city of Aleppo.
Nidal al-Ashi, 21, from Gaza City, died in the clashes between Assad's forces and members of the Free Syrian Army rebel group in the city of Aleppo, sources in Syria told Ma'an.
Opposition sources said the shelling, which follows intensive ground and air bombardment, was an attempt to drive fighters inside Aleppo from their strongholds and to stop their comrades outside the city from resupplying them.
"They are shelling at random to instil a state of terror," said Anwar Abu Ahed, a rebel commander outside the city.
The battle for Aleppo, a major power center that is home to 2.5 million people, is being seen as a potential turning point in the 16-month uprising against Assad that could give one side an edge in a conflict where both the rebels and the government have struggled to gain the upper hand.
On Thursday, thirty-four people were killed in and around Aleppo, according to opposition activists, in an uprising that has cost the lives of 18,000 people across the country.
Reuters contributed to this report