Syrian government again blockades Kurdish neighborhoods in Aleppo, Shahba: SDF
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian government again put a blockade on the Kurdish-held neighborhoods of Al-Ashrafiyyah and Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo, and the Shahba area in northern Aleppo, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Wednesday.
“In conjunction with the daily brutal Turkish shelling on the al-Shahba’a areas, the Syrian regime forces (Fourth Division) have imposed a stifling blockade on the al-Shahba’a (northern Aleppo) areas and the neighborhoods of the al-Sheikh Maksoud and Ashrafia,” the SDF said in a press release.
“For the third day in a row, they prevent entering the fuel and the flour to the bakeries, increasing the suffering of the people who have been living in blackout for two nights.”
In Aleppo, the Fourth Division of the SAA has again imposed a blockade on the two Kurdish-majority neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafiyeh, within which over 200,000 people live, including many IDPs from Afrin. pic.twitter.com/lu6jZqSTfM— Rojava Information Center (@RojavaIC) August 24, 2022
This although in July, Damascus sent more forces to Manbij, Tal Tamr and Kobani in a deal with the SDF to face Turkish threats to invade.
Moreover, the SDF said Turkish drone strikes in Tal Rifaat on Tuesday killed two civilians and injured eight others.
One of the civilians was in a car accessories shop, getting prepared for his wedding today.
“Following the attack, a Syrian-Russian joint patrol headed to the site of the airstrike, yet no statements were released,” the SDF statement added.
The SDF also said Turkey is continuously shelling Tal Rifaat and most of al-Shahba, which is inhabited by thousands of civilians of Afrin who fled the Turkish occupation of Afrin, in March 2018.
Turkey in the recent months have stepped up drone attacks and shelling.
121 Syrian organizations on Tuesday condemned the increasing hostilities in northern Syria and called for a permanent ceasefire.
The new siege comes amidst rumours of a new reconciliation between Ankara and Damascus on Syria to undermine Kurdish autonomy in Syria.
Also in late March, Syrian government forces besieged the Kurdish-held neighborhoods of Al-Ashrafiyyah and Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo. In April, the siege ended after Russian mediation.
Russia has recently been pushing Ankara for a deal based on the 1998 Adana agreement, while opposing a new Turkish operation.
"The important part is to prevent some kind of new military action and reach agreements via diplomatic channels based on those political principles that have already existed in relations between Syria and Turkey," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a press conference on Tuesday with his Syrian counterpart.
The agreement signed by Damascus and Ankara in 1998 against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), allows Turkey to enter five kilometers deep into Syrian territory if it deems that Turkish security is threatened.
This cooperation ended after Turkey supported armed rebel groups who have fought against the Syrian government in recent years.
Several senior Turkish officials have recently changed their tone on relations with the Syrian government, creating fears among the Turkish-backed opposition and Syrian Kurds.
On his return flight from his visit to Ukraine, President Erdogan told reporters last week that Turkey does not seek the overthrow of Syrian president Assad, and underlined that Turkey needs to “secure additional steps with Syria at higher levels.”
Damascus continues to underline it is ready to work with Turkey if the Turkish army withdraws from Syria, while Ankara underlines that the “country needs to be cleared of terrorists.”
Nevertheless, the Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu recently denied Iranian press reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian president Bashar Assad at a summit in Uzbekistan in September.