Syrian Islamists bomb Kurdish district in Aleppo, civilian casualties reported

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Kurdish civilians are seen in the besieged Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO – Syrian Islamists renewed their attacks on the Kurdish-populated Sheikh Maqsoud District in Aleppo city. Local sources reported fatalities and injuries amongst the enclave’s civilian population on Saturday.

Fighters from the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham reportedly shelled the Kurdish district with mortars. Jahbat Fateh al-Sham was previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The extremist group recently announced that it had split from al-Qaeda and was rebranding.

Doctor Mihemed Hamke, the director of a hospital in Sheikh Maqsoud, told ARA News: “Seven civilians lost their lives, including three children, due to the mortar attack on Sheikh Maqsoud.”

Dr Hamke added that more than a dozen civilians were injured in Saturday’s bombardment. “Some of them are in critical condition,” he added.

The lethal mortar barrage originated in the nearby Ain al-Tal and Baedin neighborhoods. The Ahrar al-Sham Movement and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham control both residential blocks.

Sheikh Maqsoud has been under siege by Syrian Islamists for over three years. Violence has recently intensified in the district as Kurdish People’s Protect Units (YPG) have tried to establish a buffer zone.

Amnesty International has recently issued a report with regard to 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 outages have continued for nearly three years because of repeated attacks by Islamists on the main power network. 

In an earlier interview, he told ARA News: “These groups are apparently punishing the people of Sheikh Maqsoud for [giving] their support to the YPG, who have been […] fighting with radical Islamists around the city of Aleppo.”

Reporting by: Jamil Mukarram | Source: ARA News

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