Islamist groups attack Kurdish villages northwest Syria

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A fighter of Ahrar al Sham seen during clashes in Aleppo. File photo

ARA News

Supported by Turkey’s military, Syrian Islamist groups launched on Wednesday an offensive against Kurdish villages in the district of Afrin, northwest of Aleppo province.

Islamist militants of Ahrar al-Sham and Jahbat Fateh al-Sham (al-Qaeda affiliated group previously known as al-Nusra Front) attacked the villages of Basoufan and Bashmere in the Sherawa area of Afrin.

The radical groups shelled the two villages with dozens of mortar shells, followed by Turkish artillery bombardment on the same villages.

“The shelling led to the destruction of several residential buildings, causing the death and injury of dozens of civilians,” a local media activist told ARA News.

Afrin district, also known as Efrîn, is held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The bombardment was reportedly launched from the nearby Samaan citadel (Saint Simon Citadel), that has been recently taken by Turkey-backed Islamist groups as a base for their operations against the YPG in Aleppo province.

It was not immediately clear how many people were killed in the bombardment. In the meantime, local rescue teams continued to search for victims under the rubble.

Yezidi Kurds Under Attack

The Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) on Monday accused Turkey-backed rebel groups of displacing hundreds of Yezidi civilians from the village of Elî Qîno, in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province.

Furthermore, the KNC also accused pro-Turkey Islamists of kidnapping Kurdish civilians in northern Aleppo.

Yezidi villagers of Elî Qîno, which belongs to the Afrin district, were given one hour to empty the village on Monday. After this their properties were confiscated, including olive groves, livestock and furniture.

In the meantime, Kurdish activists reported that the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield rebels have kidnapped at least 55 civilians in Kurdish villages in northern Aleppo.

Reporting by: Hozan Mamo | Source: ARA News

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