Palestinian refugees attacked by Syrian forces

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Palestinian refugees attacked by Syrian forces

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There has been growing condemnation aimed at Syria after tanks opened fire on a Palestinian refugee camp in the north of the country.

Syria’s President Assad has broadened a military assault, trying to put down a popular uprising against his rule that erupted in the middle of March.

Residents in Latakia reported heavy machine-gun fire and explosions in the al-Raml camp. The UN said up to 10,000 Palestinians had fled the gunfire.

One report said there were a handful of dead. Another claim by Syrian activists put the figure at 34. Confirmation is virtually impossible. Almost all independent media have been barred from Syria.

The Palestinian presidency in Ramallah in the West bank urged Syrian authorities to safeguard the lives of Palestinians in the Latakia camp.

Ahmad Hanoon from the PLO’s refugee affairs department said: ‘The Palestinians should be spared the Syrian internal problems. The Palestinian refugees and residents in Syria are not part of the conflict that is taking place there.’

It was not just Palestinians who were appalled.

Turkey’s foreign minister told Assad to halt Syrian military operations immediately or face unspecified consequences.