Kurdish YPG forces combatting Islamists in Syria’s Aleppo

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A fighter of the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham in Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) were engaged in heavy clashes with Syrian Islamist rebels in the northern Aleppo province on Saturday. 

The clashes centred in the vicinity of the Kurdish Sheikh Maqsoud district, where the YPG attacked strongholds of the Islamist rebels of the Aleppo Conquest.

At least seven fighters from the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham [Aleppo Conquest member] were killed and more than 15 others were injured in the clashes. On the other hand, four YPG fighters were reportedly injured while trying to push back the Islamist rebels from the borders of the Sheikh Maqsoud district, military sources reported on Saturday.

Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, YPG officer Lukman Hamo said that the Kurdish forces have bombed two checkpoints for the Aleppo Conquest rebel factions near Sheikh Maqsoud, and seized several weapons and ammunitions from the rebels.

“The positions we targeted today have been for long used by those radical Islamists as bases for attacking civilians in Sheikh Maqsoud district,” the Kurdish officer said.

Last week, militants of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, supported by Islamist rebels of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement, launched an offensive on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, using mortar shells, amid attempts to infiltrate into the district, activists and military sources told ARA News. The Islamists targeted populated areas in the Sheikh Maqsoud district with mortar fire, killing at least four people and wounding a dozen more. 

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.

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 in an earlier interview.

Reporting by: Shero Darwish

Source: ARA News

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