Friday, 6 March 2015
The Syrian Regime Is Responsible for the Crisis in Yarmouk & No One Is Talking About It
"I am now haunted by images of its ravaged buildings, children feeding themselves on grass and stray cats, and scrawny bodies starved to death. Since July 2013, an estimated 200 people have died, and many others have been left without food or medication, leading to escalating incidents of starvation. This is in addition to the approximately 300 Palestinians killed under torture in the regime’s prisons, and the 900 who have died from shelling in the camp. There has been no drinkable water in Yarmouk for over one year and a half.
It is no surprise that, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, the little media coverage Yarmouk has received in mainstream outlets, including from the BBC and theGuardian, has centered primarily on the unfolding humanitarian crisis. By focusing on this aspect of the story, however, mainstream reporting on Yarmouk has failed to highlight the Syrian regime’s role in facilitating the crisis in the camp.
Indeed, this a-historical representation of the humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk has worked significantly to the advantage of the Syrian regime. Along with a number of foreign pro-Syrian regime outlets, mainly from Iran and Russia, the Assad government has blamed the humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk entirely on a few radical opposition groups inside the camp. The regime’s allied foreign media outlets have claimed that Syrian-Palestinians have always backed the regime. To support this narrative, these outlets have selectively relied on a handful of pro-regime Palestinian factions in Syria. Together, both pro-regime and mainstream media outlets have ignored the experiences of Palestinians who do not support the regime (though for different reasons), effectively concealing the truth behind the suffering under which Yarmouk’s population lives today."