syria barrel bombs
31 January 2014: People wait to receive food aid distributed by the UN Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus UNWRA/Reuters

Islamic State (Isis) militants have reportedly entered Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, where thousands of Palestinians have been living under siege.

The camp, once home to between 100,000 and 150,000 Palestinians and Syrians on the outskirts of Damascus, is surrounded on all sides by the forces of either Bashar Al Assad or Jabhat Al Nusra militants, according to reports.

Palestine Liberation Organisation spokesman Anwar Abdel Hadi told AFP that the assault on the Yarmouk began on Thursday morning and IS are now in control of "the majority of the camp".

Syrian rebels occupied Yarmouk until February 2014 when they agreed to leave Palestinian anti-Assad forces inside.

The ensuing siege has forced almost 90% of residents to leave and the remaining 18,000 face severe shortages of food and water.

During a visit to the camp in early 2014, UNRWA chief Filippo Grandi described the scenes witnessed as "shocking" comparing the people queuing for food to "the appearance of ghosts".

"The devastation is unbelievable. There is not one single building that I have seen that is not an empty shell by now. They're all blackened by smoke," he said.

Syria Direct, a news site that collates information from activists inside the war torn country, quoted a source inside Yarmouk as saying that IS intended on hitting back against the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas.

A group within Hamas in Yarmouk reportedly kidnapped 10 IS members on Tuesday after the radical Islamist group assassinated one of its leaders.