World Bulletin / News Desk
ISIL members have largely withdrawn from a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus after expelling their main rival, several residents and a Palestinian official said on Wednesday.
The pull-out from Yarmouk leaves Al-Qaida-linked Nusra as the main group inside the camp.
The sources said hundreds of fighters of the ISIL had returned to their stronghold in neighboring Hajar al Aswad, from where they had launched their attack earlier this month.
"Most of them have withdrawn in mostly to-and-fro skirmishes that took place between them and their adversaries," resident Abu Ahmad Hawari said.
Alongside seeking to capture the camp, they sought to defeat their rival, the Hamas-linked Aknaf al Maqdis, an opposition group that was ideologically opposed to them.
ISIL's arrival in Yarmouk had given the group a significant foothold a few kilometers from Syrian President Bashar Assad's seat of power.
The group was still fighting some of the remaining Aknaf al Maqdis members in the northern entrance of the camp at the junction of the main Palestine and Yarmouk streets, two residents said.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation envoy to Damascus said that Nusra was now the main group in the camp.
"They and Nusra are one. They are changing positions," Anwar Abdul Hadi told.
Nusra was accused by its rivals of facilitating the entry of ISIL members into the camp. Although they are rivals elsewhere in Syria, both share a loathing for Aknaf al Maqdis.
The camp was home to some 160,000 Palestinians before the Syrian conflict began in 2011, refugees from the 1948 war of Israel's founding, and their descendants.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Nisan 2015, 13:53