ISIS Militants Close In On Area Near Syrian Capital

April 6, 2015 8:58 AM

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RENEE MONTAGNE, BYLINE: And to Syria now, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, is edging towards taking over territory just outside the capital, Damascus. That area called Yarmouk was once a Palestinian refugee camp. It grew into a busy working-class neighborhood with schools and offices. But for the past four years, the area has been a battleground between Syrian government troops and rebels. NPR's Alice Fordham reports that if ISIS takes Yarmouk, it will be the closest they have come to holding turf in the capital.

ALICE FORDHAM, BYLINE: For six days now, ISIS fighters have been battling a patchwork of armed factions for control of the area. One of their unofficial news agencies aired footage of the gunfire we're hearing, which included video of ISIS fighters calling for people to be patient, saying it would a...

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