UN aid convoy enters besieged Kurdish district in Syria’s Aleppo for first time

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Kurdish civilians are seen in the besieged Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO – The UN was able to deliver humanitarian aid to a Kurdish district in Syria’s northern Aleppo city for the first time since the outbreak of the Syrian war five years ago, activists reported on Monday. 

The Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud has been under siege by Syrian Islamist rebels for years, and violence has recently intensified in the district as the Kurdish YPG forces have been trying to push back Islamist fighters of the Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria) and the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham. 

A UN convoy has arrived in the besieged Sheikh Maqsoud carrying humanitarian aid to thousands of civilians stranded in the district.

“The convoy, which consisted of 13 trucks, delivered basic supplies to the residents of Sheikh Maqsoud. The aid included food, medicine and other basic supplies,” rights activist Dawood Osman told ARA News in Aleppo.

According to local sources, there are 35,000-40,000 civilians still living in Sheikh Maqsoud, where people have for long suffered a sharp shortage of basic supplies and services as a result of the blockade imposed by Islamist rebel groups on their district. 

“The people of Sheikh Maqsoud have suffered the most under siege and shelling by terrorist groups. The delivery of aid has brought a glimmer of hope for civilians in this war-torn district,” Osman said. 

The source added that the distribution of aid started on Monday. 

“We will definitely need more help in the coming days, as there are thousands of people here in urgent need for many supplies in order to survive this crisis,” he said. “We hope the United Nations could play a greater role in stopping the shelling on this civilian neighbourhood and opening humanitarian corridors to deliver more aid.”

Amnesty International has recently issued a report in regard with the developments in the Kurdish-populated district, saying: “Armed groups surrounding the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo city have repeatedly carried out indiscriminate attacks that have struck civilian homes, streets, markets and mosques, killing and injuring civilians and displaying a shameful disregard for human life.”

Speaking to ARA News, Luqman Ismail, one of the stranded citizens in Sheikh Maqsoud, said that electricity outage continues for nearly three years because of the barbaric bombardment led by Islamist rebels on the main network of power outside the district. 

“These groups are apparently punishing the people of Sheikh Maqsoud for their support to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are engaged in fighting with Islamist rebels around the city of Aleppo,” he said.

Reporting by: Siman Jiwan 

Source: ARA News

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