4th Division Withdraws from Yarmouk Camp

An elite regime fighting force has retreated from Yarmouk Palestinian camp south of Damascus, writes Sowt Al-Asima.

Two days ago, the government’s 4th Division withdrew the last group of its fighters stationed in the areas of Yarmouk Camp and Al-Hajar al-Aswad, south of the capital, Damascus.

Sawt Al-Asima sources said that the 4th Division withdrew completely from the two areas after the fighting contracts for the 4th Division’s local militias in the region ended at the beginning of this month.

The sources added that the withdrawal process included all of the 4th’s military checkpoints, stressing that the region’s security is now under the purview of Military Security.

The sources indicated that Military Security has set up many security checkpoints near the entrances and exits of the two areas, and others have been set up in the vicinity of neighborhoods where some real estate owners have obtained security clearance to be.

The sources indicated that Military Security reopened the Al-Qadam neighborhood road, leading to the entrance to Al-Hajar al-Aswad, to facilitate the entry process for the people of the Arnaout neighborhood, indicating that the road will be an alternative to Al Thalatheen Street to reach Al-Hajar al-Aswad.

According to the sources, handing over the zone’s security file to Military Security and the withdrawal of the 4th Division comes as a preliminary step to allow some residents to return to their homes, pointing out that Military Security will issue a list of the names of the people of Al-Hajar al-Aswad who have secured approval to return.

The issuance of new security approvals came after a tour conducted by a special committee that was formed to assess the buildings of the Al-Hajar al-Aswad area. The committee identified 60 percent of the homes as “fit for restoration.”

The military changes in the south of Damascus started at the end of February, when the 4th Division began to dismantle its military checkpoints in the area, including a checkpoint at the only entrance to the Yarmouk camp on Al Thalatheen Street, and it reopened the road leading to the Al-Qadam neighborhood of Damascus, the Arnaout neighborhood, and Aalaf in Al-Hajar al-Aswad.

As per the same sources, the security file for the Yarmouk camp and the Al-Hajar al-Aswad will be handed over to the Military Security Branch, which will handle the security of the area and issue entry approvals for the people.

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