Islamic State seizes vast Damascus refugee camp




 
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April 2nd, 2015  
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Topic: Islamic State seizes vast Damascus refugee camp


By Sylvia Westall and Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters seized most of a vast camp for Palestinian refugees on the outskirts of Damascus from other insurgents on Wednesday in a bid to capture a major foothold close to President Bashar al-Assad's seat of power. In a separate advance, rebel groups that have received backing from Assad's Arab and Western foes captured a border crossing with Jordan, the first time Damascus has lost it since the start of the conflict, sources on both sides said. The gains by groups at opposite ends of the insurgent spectrum show the pressures still facing Assad, who has sought to shore up his control over western Syria including the border zone with Jordan and Israel - the last notable foothold of the mainstream rebels who have largely been eclipsed by jihadists. The Nusra Front, al Qaeda's wing in Syria and one of the groups involved, announced on Wednesday the city would be run according to sharia law.




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