YPG fighters resting at a checkpoint near Afrin, northwestern Syria. File photo
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AFRIN – Syrian Islamist rebels on Saturday bombed the Kurdish city of Afrin in northwestern Syria with a number of Grad rockets, hitting residential buildings and causing casualties among civilians, military sources and rights activists reported.
Islamist rebel factions stationed in Azaz city in the northern countryside of Aleppo province hit Afrin city with at least five Grad rockets on Saturday evening.
“The bombardment caused mass destruction in residential buildings in central Afrin, where at least three Kurdish civilians were killed and a dozen more injured,” rights activist Salim Efrini told ARA News in Afrin.
The source added that local rescue teams have been looking for victims under the rubble until Saturday midnight.
“Some civilians are most likely stranded under the ruins of the destroyed buildings. Volunteers of the rescue teams are still searching, and the number of casualties could increase in the coming hours,” Efrini reported.
The city of Afrin is under the control of the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG)–that are in conflict with Islamist factions in northern Syria, including ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish politician and spokesman of the Syrian Democratic Union in Afrin Salam Hussein said: “Those radical Islamists are punishing civilians after failing to confront the YPG forces at the battlefront.”
Last week, Islamist factions, including Syria’s al-Qaeda branch of Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, bombed the Jinderis district in Afrin suburbs, killing and wounding a number of civilians, according to local sources.
Reporting by: Siman Jiwan
Source: ARA News