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      Syrian Rebels Take Over Damascus Refugee Camp

      Rebels have taken over the Yarmouk camp which is home to thousands of "Palestinian refugees".
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 12/18/2012, 5:12 AM

      View of the Syrian capital Damascus
      View of the Syrian capital Damascus
      AFP/File

      Syrian rebels have taken full control of the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus, rebel and Palestinian Authority Arab sources said on Monday.

      The takeover of the camp, which is home to thousands of people who are recognized as "Palestinian refugees," came after days of heavy fighting which pitted rebels against fighters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

      Many of the PFLP-GC fighters had defected to the rebel side. PFLP head Ahmed Jibril was driven out from the camp by opposition forces. The defectors have called for Jibril's arrest.

      Yarmouk came under heavy attack from the Syrian army on Sunday, as a mosque that was sheltering some 600 refugees from neighboring districts, was attacked from the air and hit by at least one rocket. Reports indicated that at least 25 people were killed in the strike.

      Jibril's PFLP has maintained strong ties to Assad throughout the 21-month uprising, unlike Hamas whose Damascus-based officials, including Khaled Mashaal, quietly pulled out of Syria as the mainly Sunni Muslim uprising against Assad gained momentum.