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Iran says to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Syria
Published Saturday 22/12/2012 (updated) 23/12/2012 17:56
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Palestinian women who had been living at Yarmouk wait outside the
Lebanese immigration authority to have their papers stamped at the
Lebanese-Syrian border Dec. 18, 2012. (Reuters/Jamal Saidi)
DUBAI (Reuters) -- Iran plans to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Syria living in an area recently seized by Syrian rebels, Iran's ambassador to Syria was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Iran has been a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad of Syria who has been battling to put down a 21-month uprising against his rule, and Tehran has also long cast itself as a champion of the Palestinian people.

The aid would be dispatched to Yarmouk, a Palestinian district near the center of Damascus, which has become one of the latest battlefields for Syrian rebels and a target for Assad's artillery.

Earlier this week, insurgents took control of the Yarmouk camp, a densely populated urban district home to thousands of impoverished Palestinian refugees and Syrians.

Rebels said on Thursday they had negotiated to put the camp back into the hands of anti-Assad Palestinian fighters. There are some 500,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in Syria, and they have been divided by the uprising.

Iran will send an initial shipment of blankets, food, and medicine in the coming days via Damascus airport to be delivered to Yarmouk officials for distribution among Palestinians, Iran's ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Sheibani told the Mehr news agency on Saturday.

Iran's Foreign Ministry and the Red Crescent organisation had taken the decision to send the aid, Sheibani said. He did not say specifically when the aid would be sent.

Western countries have accused Iran of supplying weapons to Syrian government forces to help put down the uprising, though Iran has denied it is helping Assad militarily.

Both Assad's government and the mainly Sunni Muslim Syrian rebels have enlisted and armed divided Palestinian factions as the uprising has evolved into a civil war.

Thousands of displaced Yarmouk residents have fled the violence for the Lebanese border or set up Palestinian communities elsewhere in Damascus.
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1 ) Shirley S / Australia
22/12/2012 12:50
pity Iran dosent send aid to LIBYA where it helped to cause the death of 250 thousand LIBYANS and all gaddfhis children and grandchildren stirring up lies and hate against him IRan is doing little to help SYria now and aid should also be sent to aid all syrians

2 ) LIP service like the 100s / of millions of dollars
22/12/2012 13:29
Arabs promised the PLO none of these dollars showed up THe Arabs DESPISE THE PALESTINIANS As long as they served as CANNON FODDER TO FIGHT ISRAEL--fine but now the ISLAM has started its REFORMATION--who cares about lowly palestinians

3 ) southparkbear / usa
22/12/2012 16:09
oh, that's new bombs and roses

4 ) Outlier / USA
22/12/2012 19:16
Iran is the ultimate and least trustworthy manipulator. a wolf in sheep's clothing.

5 ) Outlier / USA
25/12/2012 19:44
Spiked comment. Typical Ma'am.
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