Al-Qaeda launches new offensive on Kurdish district in Aleppo, civilian casualties reported

Flags of the Kurdish forces are seen in central Sheikh Maqsoud district in Aleppo, northern Syria. File photo

ARA News

ALEPPO – Dozens of civilian casualties were reported on Friday in bombardment by militants of al-Qaeda on a Kurdish district in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

Militant fighters of al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda wing in Syria, launched an attack on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud by mortar fire and “Hell” canon, bombing residential buildings in the war-torn district. 

“More than 20 civilians were killed and dozens more wonded in the district under heavy bombardment by Nusra and its allies,” rights activist Rezan Hiddo told ARA News in Aleppo.

“Rescue teams have pulled dead bodies of dozens of victims from the rubble of the bombed buildings in Sheikh Maqsoud on Friday evening,” the local source reported. “We are still searching for victims stranded under the ruins.” 

Sheikh Maqsoud has been repeatedly exposed to Nusra-led attacks over the past few months, amid sporadic clashes between the Islamists and Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG)–who are in control of the district. 

Hiddo pointed out that the Sheikh Maqsoud district suffers a sharp shortage of medicine and food supplies as a result of siege imposed by al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham.

This comes just one day after Turkey’s military stationed on the Syrian border bombed the Kurdish city of Afrin and nearby villages in northwestern Aleppo, which caused casualties among civilians. The attack, which took place in the midnight on Thursday, hit residential neighborhoods in Afrin and its suburbs. Afrin is under the control of Kurdish forces from the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The city and its countryside have sheltered thousands of displaced people from war-torn Aleppo. 

The Turkish bombardment has also reached the villages of Deir Ballout, Hammam, Firera, Hasna, Sanar and Hakjeh –administratively linked to Afrin. Dozens of civilian casualties, including children, were reported in the heavy artillery shelling by the Turkish army on Thursday.

Reporting by: Siman Jiwan 

Source: ARA News

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