The Assad regime security agencies arrested 56 Palestinian children in the town of Yelda south of Damascus after a picture of Bashar al-Assad was torn up during classes at al-Jermaq School.
On its official page on Sunday, the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) said that members of the Patrols Branch had raided the school and arrested 20 students.
The security branch also raided civilian homes, arresting 36 Palestinian students between the ages of 10 and 16, according to the group.
After the arrests, the group said that the area saw mobilizations by residents and notables in the Yarmouk camp to intervene, with mediators getting involved to find out the reasons for the arrests and working to secure the release of the children.
The group said that the Patrols Branch had responded to these intermediaries saying that the children had belonged to the Islamic State (ISIS), commonly referred to as the “Cubs of the Caliphate.”
The towns and cities south of Damascus are entirely under the control of Assad’s forces and the allied militias after battles against the ISIS, which had controlled positions there, most prominently in Yarmouk camp.
AGPS said there was a major state of fear and worry among Palestinian families south of Damascus due to “the arrest of their children and their involvement in charges that have no basis in reality.”
The fate of the children is still unknown, and they remain detained by the Patrols Branch in Damascus.
The towns south of Damascus are inhabited by more than 5,000 Palestinian refugees living in difficult humanitarian and security conditions in light of increasing rents and weak financial resources, in addition to the arrest campaigns carried out by Assad regime security agencies from time to time.
In a previous report, AGPS said that there had been 3,989 Palestinian victims in Syria, 563 of them who died under torture in Assad regime prisons.
The Assad regime has carried out arrest campaigns in the towns of Babbila, Beit Sahem, and Yelda south of Damascus, despite the “reconciliation” agreements they signed in 2018.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.