"You cannot understand the Islamic State’s assault on the camp or what it means unless you also consider how Bashar al-Assad, as a gift to the Palestinian people, turned a thriving neighborhood of hundreds of thousands of people into a desperate population of 18,000 waiting to die. We cannot stop what happened in Yarmouk from repeating itself elsewhere unless we save the 600,000 besieged civilians whom Assad is starving to death.
What happened in Yarmouk and al-Hajar al-Aswad can happen in other besieged areas in the capital. For Syrians under siege, surrendering to Assad or joining the Islamic State are two sides of the same coin: They are both the result of desperation from starvation. When you see Assad bragging in the media that some besieged Syrians have surrendered, you can bet there are others who just secretly joined the Islamic State. So long as Assad’s starvation sieges continue to weaken the Syrian people, the Islamic State will find an opening by persuasion or conquest."