southern DamascusSeptember 8, 2015http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-9-8-15/Rebels in south Damascus closed the Yalda checkpoint leading into the Yarmouk and Palestine camps on Monday, both of which are under Islamic State control, in an effort to pressure IS fighters to lift their own blockade on the nearby al-Qadam district, Yarmouk Camp News reported. “Those most harmed by the closure are civilians,” a Yarmouk camp resident told Syria Direct on Tuesday, requesting anonymity. “IS has food reserves and buying power, and it won’t affect them negatively,” the resident said, although “a real military front could.” The Islamic State launched an offensive to take control of al-Qadam more than a week ago in its second major incursion in south Damascus since taking control of Yarmouk camp earlier this year. IS subsequently has been “prohibiting the entry of food and fuel into al-Qadam since August 28,” Matar Ismail, a citizen journalist in Yalda told Syria Direct on Tuesday. While local rebel factions have reversed most early gains made by IS in al-Qadam, sporadic fighting and the pressure of an ongoing blockade drove the newly formed anti-Islamic State operations room to close the Yalda-Palestine camp checkpoint as a way to force IS’s hand. “The Yalda checkpoint was only closed for one day to put pressure on IS,” Ismail says. Activists in Yarmouk called for protests on Tuesday against “repeated closures” of the checkpoint and alleged abuses by rebel factions, Yarmouk Camp News reported.