UN Chief: Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee in Syria Is 'Beginning to Resemble a Death Camp'

'We simply cannot stand by and watch a massacre unfold,' Ban Ki-moon says.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. Credit: AP

The UN secretary-general says the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus that has been overrun by Islamic State group fighters is "the deepest circle of hell" in Syria's four-year horror.

Ban Ki-moon told reporters Thursday that "a refugee camp is beginning to resemble a death camp" for its estimated 18,000 residents.

He warns that the armed fighters inside the camp and Syrian government forces outside it are a double-edged sword for the thousands trapped.

"We simply cannot stand by and watch a massacre unfold," Ban says.

Islamic State group fighters overran much of the Yarmouk camp last week.

The secretary-general is demanding an end to the fighting, access for humanitarian aid and safe passage for people who wish to flee.

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