On Wednesday morning, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched an offensive at the Yarmouk Camp in southern Damascus, capturing half of the district after fierce clashes with the Palestinian Islamist group “Ankaf Beit Al-Maqdis.”
ISIS launched the offensive from the densely populated city of Hajar Al-Aswad, attacking their Islamist counterparts from the southern perimeter of Yarmouk Camp; this led to the capture of a number of sites, including 15th Street, Mosque of Palestine Neighborhood, and the Palestinian National Hospital.
According to a military source from the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), ISIS was able to reach 30th Street before they were finally forestalled by Ankaf Beit Al-Maqdis and members of Jaysh Al-Islam.
This is not ISIS’ first time entering Yarmouk Camp, the militants were present in the district in early 2015; however, after agreeing to a ceasefire with the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra,” they pulled out to Hajar Al-Aswad.
ISIS’ reemergence in Yarmouk Camp was not a coincidence: earlier this week, Ankaf Beit Al-Maqdis took 10 ISIS fighters hostage after the assassination of Yahya Al-Hourani – a medic from the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.
The Islamist group, Ankaf Beit Al-Maqdis, is considered an offshoot of Hamas, despite the latter’s hesitancy to choose a side in this bloody conflict.
The origin of the ISIS militants in Hajar Al-Aswad derives from the Islamist groups loyal to the Syrian Opposition declaring their loyalty to the terrorist organization.
In early 2015, it was rumored that ISIS and a number of rebel groups (Syrian Revolutionaries Forces) entered into a non-aggression pact, agreeing to combat only forces loyal to the Syrian Government.