Palestinian refugees near Damascus, trapped amid a triple onslaught of Syrian forces, anti-Assad rebels and Islamic State fighters, appeal to the PLO for help. Pavithra George reports
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: REUTERS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT OF THIS VIDEO WHICH WAS OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE Video that cannot be independently verified by Reuters purports to show Islamic State fighters storm Yarmouk, a refugee camp set up in Syria for displaced Palestinians. Many have fled the camp -- amid heavy shelling by government forces -- AND a stand-off between Islamic State fighters and anti-Assad rebel insurgents... ... both fighting for control of the camp which sits outside the capital, Damascus, the seat of power for President Bashar al-Assad. Now, some of the estimated 18,000 residents in Yarmouk are appealing to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization for help. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNNAMED CIVILIAN, SAYING: "We are tired of hunger and thirst; we do not have food or medicines here. We have nothing at all in this camp. We are really tired of this. So please try to find a solution." Speaking in Ramallah, in the West Bank, Abbas indicated that the PLO was looking for a resolution to help the Palestinian refugees caught in the cross fire as various factions fight for control of Yarmouk. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT, MAHMOUD ABBAS, SAYING: "In the past and today, Yarmouk refugee camp, the major camp in the south of Damascus, has been suffering from war and attacks from all the fighters of official and unofficial organizations, and we are paying the price." The plight of Yarmouk's refugees drew protests from Palestinians in the West Bank who gathered outside PLO's offices in Ramallah in a show of solidarity. The United Nations, too, is raising the alarm. It says some refugees have evacuated, but thousands still remain in the besieged camp - now overrun by Islamic State fighters.