The UN Security Council has demanded access to the camp after IS (formerly known as ISIS) entered and were reported to be executing opposition fighters. The United Nations' agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) has called for the protection of the estimated 18,000 people still living in the camp, with the organisation's commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl describing the situation as "one of the most severe ever."

As the timeline below shows, suffering in the camp is not new - it has been under siege by the Syrian government for over two years, with the residents desperately short on food. The latest events are only likely to worsen an already desperate humanitarian situation.