Syria Warns Palestinians Not to Help Rebels

Refugees surrounded by clashes


Syria warned its Palestinian refugee population on Monday not to aid the insurgency that is fighting President Bashar al-Assad, as hundreds of Palestinians fled the Yarmouk neighborhood of Damascus, with many heading for relative safety in Lebanon, a day after Syrian forces attacked that neighborhood with air strikes for the first time in the civil war.

The Syrian warning appeared to reflect the sensitivity Mr. Assad attaches to the loyalty of the country's Palestinians, an important element of what remains of his political legitimacy. It came as new clashes were reported in and around the Yarmouk neighborhood between government forces and rebel fighters.