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What does ISIS really want with the Yarmouk Refugee Camp?

Suspicion continues to increase about this organisation that calls itself Daaish or (non) ‘Islamic State’. Questions about its origins, its agenda and its financial backing only return ambiguous answers. Its skirmishes and battles in and around Syria are especially peculiar. Since its inception from nothing, from no religious or known political foundation, its main targets have been the Syrian resistance and the other factions fighting against the established brutal regime. Not long ago, ISIS threatened to carry the fight all the way to Rome. Strange then, that they never made any such threat to reach Damascus to topple the Alawite regime, despite Damascus being significantly closer.

Today, this organisation attacks the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp, which has been under brutal siege by the Syrian regime since 2013, after another crippling siege in 2012. More than 200 of the camp’s citizens have died from hunger and disease, while the relentless regime’s cutting off of water and electricity has created utterly detrimental conditions, slowly ‘annihilating’ the remaining populace at the camp.[1] This is not to mention the many families forced to eat grass and cats and whatever else they can find to preserve their lives. So why, then, does ISIS attack this refugee camp, inflicting heavy losses on those fighting against the Syrian Regime?

Before answering these questions, let us consider the most significant factions that have been opposed to the Syrian regime operating out of the Yarmouk Refugee:

1. Aknaaf Bayt Al Maqdis – this faction was founded before the siege on Yarmouk began, in March 2013, in order to defend the camp from attacks led by the Syrian Regime and its allies. The Arabic ‘al Quds‘ newspaper reports that this faction is predominantly made up of Palestinians and claims its affiliation to Hamas,[2] among other Palestinian groups who had supported the Syrian Revolution. Other sources report that these groups left their previous affiliations to unite under the banner of Aknaaf Bayt Al Maqdis after the various factions failed to unite under a single banner.

2. Jabha Al-Nusra – some sources claim that this group has a presence of 300 fighters in the camp. There is also a definite presence of a pro-regime sentiment in the camp, united under the banner of Fath al Intifadah, The Popular Front’s (al Jabha al Sha’biyah) General Command, and the Palestinian Jabha Al-Nidaal.

The declared reason for ISIS’s attack on the Yarmouk Refugee camp at the beginning of April is allegedly a form of revenge to the actions of the Aknaaf group [3] [4], who had previously arrested associates believed to have been involved in the assassination of a leading Hamas figure; Yahya Hawrani. He was assigned to head the camp’s humanitarian effort on the 31th of March and was killed ruthlessly by masked gunmen on his way to his work at Palestine Hospital at Yarmouk. Aknaaf’s attempt at arresting the perpetrators led to some minor skirmishes on the borders of Yarmouk, only to expand to an all-out ISIS assault. Despite resolute resistance by Aknaaf fighters, and vicious fighting inside the Camp, ISIS and its allies were able to take control of the majority of the Yarmouk camp. The fallout between Hamas and the brutal Syrian regime has resulted in the assassination of at least seven notorious activists in the latter half of 2014. [5]

ISIS’s declared justification does raise eyebrows. If the assassination of Hawrani was the direct reason behind its assault on the camp, notwithstanding that the attack made no other political or military sense, the only conclusion we can come to is that there is a some sort of mutual interest between ISIS and the Syrian Regime to quell resistance at the Yarmouk camp, something that the Syrian Regime had previously been unable to do. Accusations towards ISIS for the assassination only emphasises this, and its bloody sentiment against flags and defenceless civilians has not spared the remaining 18,000 civilians from the original 200,000 at Yarmouk.

What further points to this conclusion is the fact that the Syrian Regime used up to 20 explosive barrels during the ISIS onslaught, none of which reportedly targeted ISIS themselves. [6] This is despite the media outcry from Syrian and international outlets that ISIS is the one real enemy and threat. Not to mention the concurrent accusations levelled at the leader of the Popular Front, General Commander Ahmed Jibreel, that he assisted ISIS in entering the Yarmouk camp. [7]

Strategically, the biggest beneficiary from this adventure has been the Syrian Regime, which has long aspired to gain control over the Yarmouk Camp in order to protect Damascus’ four sides, particularly its southern and Eastern borders. It is well known that the location of the Yarmouk Refugee camp is of extreme strategic importance to protect the Damascus power base.

Yarmouk is a mere 7km from Damascus, and with Damascus ever expanding some people even suggest it is actually part of the Capital. Also, Yarmouk adjoins the area called Maidan; it is one of the front runners in protesting against the Syrian Regime and some of the very first people who lifted arms against the tyranny of the Syrian regime were from here. As well as this, Yarmouk lies in the heart of an extremely volatile area. In its North is the capital itself, and surrounded at its other three sides are the towns of Qadam, Tadamun and Hajar al Aswad, all struggling against the regime. By ISIS taking the camp out of the equation, this has solidified the Syrian Regimes position from the southern direction. With ISIS’s questionable resistance against the regime, often non-existent, the link between them and the Syrian regime is becoming yet more stark. Now its ruthless targeting of Palestinians and the Palestinian Islamic resistance, adds another streak of perversity to the ideology it espouses.

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/10/yarmouk-is-being-annihilated-palestinians-in-syria-are-left-to-their-fate

[2] http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=322181

[3] http://almoslim.net/node/231327

[4] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/04/syria-yarmouk-150405071659606.html

[5] http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/552173

[6] http://www.channel4.com/news/yarmouk-syria-refugees-displaced-inside-camp

[7] http://almoslim.net/node/231327

About Abdulbary Rasheed


  1. A website which is Islamic should not use lies and unfounded or unconfirmed statements. The following is your statement in the article “Since its inception from nothing, from no religious or known political foundation……”

    What lies !

    ISIS what Islamic State of Iraq run by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, then by Abu Umar al Baghdadi and now by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. During the initial syrian war, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi gave half of his money and many men to form a fighting force in Syria which is now Jabhat Al Nusra. And Ayman Al Zawahiri advised him not to merge the 2 factions into ISIS as it is known now.

    What does this prove? Your claim that ISIS rose suddenly from nowhere is just plain lies. Even googling some word like “zawahiri, ISIS, Baghdadi” etc would lead you to news links that will bring this fact to your attention.

    Being against ISIS due to their harshness and mistakes is one thing. Using lies and fabrications is altogether another. Shame on you !

    • Salam bro,

      Before accusing the author of ‘plain lies’, revisit the article that couldn’t have been simpler or more concise. It is not possible for something to come about ‘out of nothing’ in the literal sense as that is absurd. But ‘inception from nothing’ means it is founded upon nothing of substance or legitimacy, neither Islamically nor politically:

      “O people of the book ‘you are upon nothing’ until you establish the Torah and Gospel'”


      NOT A SINGLE scholar of notbale and reciprocated credibility has supported ISIS. This removes from it its Islamic credibility. Some of the most prominent scholars have opposed it bleakly like Sh Turaifi, Tartusi, Munajid, and so on and so forth (too many to list). To label all of these as misguided and ISIS as guided cannot hold logical credibility. So ISIS supporters are following exactly, or who they source their guidance from apart from empty catchphrases is confusing.

      “And whoever acts hostilely to the Apostle after that guidance has become manifest to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned and make him enter hell; and it is an evil resort.”

      In you comment you mentioned no less than three nicknames, one of whom is known mildly, one of whom is known as the self-declared ‘Caliph’ while the other is unknown. If I were to ask you (Google not allowed) the full name of Baghdadi now, I doubt you’d know, but people still lend him their blood allegiance. Ajeeb. From a religious perspective they are founded upon nothing.


      An entity that was created on the back of Khuruj against its general leader (Zarqawi) after unrederved allegiance (that was declared by Baghdadi) is one that was founded upon treachery. Something founded upon Batil (invalidity) is Batil. Being founded upon Batil in other words is tantamount to having no foundation, so it is politically founded upon NOTHING legitimate.

      So the avoid jumping to conclusions in accusing the article lies and what not, and try and set aside pre-conclusions before reading. That is the only was we will identify the truth from falsehood and Allah knows best.

      • friendlykamustaka

        “NOT A SINGLE scholar of notbale and reciprocated credibility has supported ISIS..”

        On the contrary. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi received his PhD at the Islamic University of Baghdad:


        Also, one the IS recruiters in Serbia has an MA in “Islamic Studies”:


        There are many more examples, including muslims who are now forced to admit that IS is Islamic. However, this will be embarrassing. For now,can you please answer this simple question: how is it that these men who spent such a long time studying Islam, should turn out to be terrorists? Do you think it might have something to do with Muhammad’s self-proclaimed statement: “I have been made victorious with terror” (Bukhari 4.52.220) ?

        • LOL
          When someone types a quote, and then disagrees with it, it is customary for what follows to be at least imaginably relevant—not a complete non sequitur about speculated ISIS’ members. The quote still stands obviously, despite the desperate attempts by the neocons to push the conspiratorial drivel about “ideology” of any inferior non-whites they happen to be currently trying to subjugate…

  2. Nusrat Shaikh.

    Assalaamulaikum ,
    A good article but you’ve not got it , as brother Hans above points out. Who is gaining from this, REALLY ?
    It’s not Assad, but the zionists. A blank canvas of the middle East created for them, by our own kind – Isis. This is the realpolitik of the Zionist. All the groundwork has been done by yours truly !
    It’s so clear – as daylight.
    As the above enlightened Hans says : it’s our dumb youngsters , new to ‘their discovery’ of Islaam, are all too eager to PROVE their TRUE adherence to their faith , by taking up any cry for ‘war’ or violence.
    Such ignorance!! It’s absolutely flabbergasting and moronic! Falling straight into the arms of the fabricators who’ve created these groups to bring about the destruction of the one body of the Ummah.
    Roll on the awakening of these youngsters and the erasing of these false group of ignoramus’s. We truly are a mockery for the likes of the hegonimous zionists The extermination of the Palestinians at this camp, now…., all too well choreographed.
    SubhaanAllah ! Ya Allah swt help the Ummah and remove the false leaders in our midst. Aameen. Ya Rabil Alameen !

  3. Asalam alaikum
    interested viewpoint, but I am sorry say that this is misleading.
    Isis have attacked and killed regime troops. ISIS capital has been bombed by the regime.
    Those are two incontrovertible facts if one is honest and not fudging for the sake of pure polemics. Secondly, the nature of war is deception. But please don’t forget that IS has declared an expansive khilafat without borders.
    I agree that one must be cautious as there are many seemingly irredeemable factors involved, such as extremist thought and wanton killing. Both if which Islam decries.

  4. Gradually it becomes obvious its a pyramid scheme/scam, operated by the enemies of Islam (Mossad?, CIA?, Saudi family? or all of the above), to take advantage of the hoards of angry young Muslims to deliver a effective and global mockery of Islam.

    The sad part is that many young Muslims from many parts of the world (including the UK) are dumb enough to fall for this scam. In part, helped unintentionally, by reactionary and radical groups such as Hizbut Tahrir and the like.

  5. What a load of rubbish – you prefer Gitmo or drones to any real islamic caliphate and may all this drivel count against you in the day of recompense if you don’t repent. Blind leading the blind- undereducated hotel dwellers telling those in the trenches and paying with their lives what they ought to do!

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