Kurds under fire in Aleppo


A Kurdish fighter vs an Islamist rebel. File photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO – Subsequent to the heavy shelling led by Islamist rebels on the Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, a relative calm prevailed in the area before the regime’s air force renewed airstrikes on the neighborhood and kill dozens of civilians, local sources reported on Monday. Moreover, people in the besieged Kurdish neighborhood suffer severe shortage of basic needs and medicine. 

Islamists Punish Civilians

The Kurds in Sheikh Maqsoud suffer from the absence of many services as a result of the blockade imposed by Islamist rebel groups on their district, mainly by the Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria). 

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 reported.

“People now depended on power generators that work only 4-5 hours per day. We also suffer from the lack of fuel to run these generators,” Ismail added. 

Bombing Water Wells 

Sabah Alo, a 30-yrear-old woman from the Kurdish district, told ARA News that the water station had been under control of Islamists for a more than a year. “That’s why we suffer from water scarcity in the area.” 

“Also, there were two water wells on the outskirts of the neighborhood but one of them was targeted by terrorists and completely destroyed,” she said. 

“Since water’s shortage, people resorted to the movable tankers to secure clean water for drinking,” Alo told ARA News. 

Diseases Spread Among Civilians

With the approaching of summer and inability of removing the garbage out of the neighborhood, diseases spread among civilians as insects and rats filled in the place. People have appealed to the humanitarian organizations to help them receive pesticides and medicines. 

Speaking to ARA News in Sheikh Maqsoud, Laila Hamo, a Kurdish citizen, said that flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches as well as mice and rats fill the district. “Due to the blockade imposed by these barbaric groups [Islamist rebels], there is no route leading to the landfill to throw the garbage,” she said. 

Hamo pointed out that various kinds of diseases spread among civilians, including skin diseases, and bacteria received from the water tankers, appealing to the United Nations and relief organizations to hastily intervene and save people’s lives. 

On April 17, Syrian rebel groups launched indiscriminate attacks on the Kurdish neighborhood in Aleppo, killing at least 18 civilians, including seven children, five women and injured 68, Kurdish officials told Human Rights Watch.

“Islamist rebels think that they could easily take control of the Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud; they must know that the Kurds do not trust the majority of Syrian opposition forces,” Khorshid Abdi, Kurdish journalist based in Aleppo, told ARA News.

“The Human Rights Watch and UN should bear their responsibility regarding Islamists-led attacks on the Kurdish residential neighborhoods in Aleppo,” he said. “Islamists must lift the siege imposed on our people in order to receive humanitarian aid, especially food and medicine.” 

“What the barbaric Islamists have done to Kurds in these five years has exceeded the regime’s suppression against them over four-decades,” he concluded.  

Reporting by: Shero Darwish

Source: ARA News

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