Jihadists pound Kurdish town near Aleppo, casualties reported

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Militants of the Islamic State in Nineveh suburbs. File photo

ARA News

URFA – At least two civilians were killed and several others wounded on Saturday after the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) pounded a Kurdish-populated town southeast of Aleppo in northern Syria, local activists reported. 

Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, civil rights activist Kesra Suleiman said both Kurdish citizens Khalil Khweridj, 29, and Hasan Shekho, 50, were killed Saturday after ISIS targeted the town of Tell Aran with mortar fire.

Tell Aran is a Kurdish-majority town in northern Syria, administratively linked to the al-Safira District of Aleppo province. 

ISIS militants imposed a siege on the town after the withdrawal of pro-regime troops last month.

“ISIS pounded Tell Aran with dozens of mortar shells, killing two civilians and wounding several others, including women and children, who were unable to flee the besieged town,” Suleiman told ARA News, pointing out “some of them are in critical conditions.”

“ISIS seized main hills overlooking the town of Tell Aran,” media activist Nasser Taljibini told ARA News in Aleppo. 

“The radical group is bombing the town from these surrounding hills,” he reported, adding “the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in Tell Aran as it is extremely difficult to evacuate the remaining civilians from the besieged town.” 

Subsequent to the withdrawal of the regime’s army and allied groups, ISIS has been bombing Tell Aran and its suburbs for more than a week. The town is currently protected by local youth who took up arms after the regime’s withdrawal, locals told ARA News.  

According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Tell Aran had a population of 17,767 before the war. The town is famous for its grapes, vineyards and gardens. However, Tell Aran is currently suffering a sharp shortage of food and medical supplies under ISIS siege. Hundreds of civilians are currently stranded in the town after the displacement of most of its residents. 

Reporting by: Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News

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