'Severe damage' in Syria's Yarmuk makes returns unlikely: UN
The UN on Tuesday said it was almost impossible to imagine people returning to Syria’s ruined Yarmuk Palestinian camp, a day after the government recaptured it from jihadists.
“Yarmuk was once the thriving home of 160,000 Palestinians. Today it lies in ruins, with hardly a house untouched by the conflict,” spokesman Chris Gunness said.
“The public health system, water, electricity, basic services for life are severely damaged. The debris of this pitiless conflict is everywhere. In that environment, it is hard to see how people can go back,” – he said.
Fighting over the years had whittled down Yarmuk’s population to just hundreds by the time Syria’s army began its assault last month.
Gunness said between 100 to 200 civilians were estimated to still be in Yarmuk, including people too old or sick to flee.
Yarmuk was, for decades, a bustling district where both Palestinians and Syrians lived. It was placed under crippling siege a year after the uprising began in 2011.
Read more: Sensational moments: Syrian soldiers raise the national flag in liberated southern Damascus