Al Jazeera Blogs

Syria Live Blog

Rebels form a brigade in Damascus to fight armed Palestinians aligned with President Assad.

Last modified: 31 Oct 2012 13:25

Syrian rebels say they have formed a brigade of sympathetic Palestinians in Yarmouk Camp, Damascus, to fight armed Palestinians aligned with President Assad.

"We've been arming Palestinians who are willing to fight ... We have formed Liwa al-Asifah [Storm Brigade] which is made up of Palestinian fighters only," a rebel commander from the Suqour al-Golan (Golan Falcons) brigade told Reuters.

"Its task is to be in charge of the Yarmouk camp. We all support it and back it."

About 150,000 Palestinian refugees live in the "camp", a sprawling area of concrete apartment blocks, where some residents support the opposition and others fight alongside Syrian soldiers.

Rebels said they and the new brigade will attack Yarmouk fighters loyal to Ahmed Jibril, head of the Syrian-sponsored Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), accusing Jibril's men of harassing camp residents and attacking Free Syrian Army fighters.

Syria hosts half a million Palestinian refugees, mostly descendants of those admitted after the creation of Israel in 1948.