The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist group has rejected the idea of joining the conflict in Syria's Yarmouk neighborhood in Damascus, apparently ruling out involvement in a joint military operation to expel the Islamic State (ISIS) group.
The position was made clear in a statement released late Thursday by the PLO from its headquarters in the Samaria city of Ramallah, reports AFP.
It came just hours after Ahmed Majdalani, a senior PLO official who is currently in Damascus for talks, said 14 Palestinian factions backed the idea of a joint military operation with the Syrian army to expel the ISIS jihadists from the neighborhood, where more than 15,000 people are trapped.
But the PLO said its traditional position of non-involvement had not changed.
"We refused to drag our people and their camps into the hellish conflict which is happening in Syria and we categorically refuse to become one of the parties involved in the armed conflict that is taking place in Yarmouk," it said.
"We refuse to be drawn into military actions, whatever or wherever they are, and we call for other means to ensure the safety of lives in Yarmouk and to prevent more destruction and forced displacement," read the PLO statement. Despite its talk against military actions, the group which was founded by arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat has carried out countless lethal terrorist attacks in its history.
Majdalani had said the Palestinian Arab forces would work in an "integrated" fashion "with the Syrian state to clear the camp of terrorists."
Yarmouk is presented in world media as being a "Palestinian refugee camp," although in reality it has been a normative and prosperous Damascus neighborhood.
ISIS jihadists entered Yarmouk last week, quickly capturing large swathes of the district, sparking international concern for the residents inside.