Syrian regime security forces and Russian police checkpoints have prevented residents of the Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus, from visiting the Martyrs’ Cemetery during Eid al-Adha, according to a human rights source from the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria. The source explained to SY-24 that Syrian security services and Russian police checkpoints are still in place at Street 30 and from the al-Magharebeh neighborhood’s side, as part of the excavation of the camp.
In fact, our source suggested that graves would continue to be excavated, as part of the search for the remains of soldiers of the Israeli occupation. These excavations, therefore, prevented people from approaching the cemetery.
Our source stated that regime forces and Russia also stopped several Palestinian officials from going to the old “Martyrs’ Cemetery” in Yarmouk camp, preventing them from laying wreaths on each occasion.
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Our source indicated that the Martyrs’ Cemetery was destroyed as a result of repeated shelling by Syrian regime forces during episodes of the war.
In early February, human rights sources have described Russian forces exhuming graves in the Martyrs’ Cemetery, in search of Israeli soldiers’ remains, as a “war crime” and flagrant violation of the deceased’s dignity.
This is not the first time that regime forces and Russia have stopped residents from visiting the cemetery. In August 2019, they stopped residents from approaching the cemetery and erected barricades and fences nearby.
Yarmouk residents are currently living in abject humanitarian conditions and unprecedented economic crises. These hardships are compounded by house rents and high living expenses, not to mention widespread unemployment and lack of jobs, according to our sources.
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.