Syrian Kurdish forces kill 4 insurgents in Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syria (Kurdistan24) – On Wednesday, the Syrian Kurdish forces killed at least four insurgents of the Syrian Arab armed opposition groups who have been attacking Aleppo’s mainly Kurdish neighborhood in northern Syria for several months.
Speaking to Kurdistan24, Ossama Muhammad, a Kurdish journalist who works with a group of activists in monitoring the war in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), said on Thursday that the Syrian opposition armed groups based in the northern outskirts of Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood have intensified shelling on the residential areas in the last two days.
“According to the latest information we received from the activists in Sheikh Maqsoud, the armed groups shelling the neighborhood are based in Sakan Shababi in the north. They wounded dozens of civilians and destroyed several houses yesterday,” Muhammad said.
He added that the Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) targeted an armored vehicle belonging to the opposition.
“The YPG and YPJ forces killed 4 terrorists in an armored vehicle yesterday,” Muhammad said.
Additionally, the YPG press office in Aleppo said in a statement released yesterday that there are nearly 15 groups shelling Sheikh Maqsoud, including Ahrar al-Sham, Al Fateh brigade, Mujahideen army, Nurul Deen Zanky battalions, and a long list of groups, most of which are affiliated with al-Qaeda.
The tension between Kurdish forces and opposition forces intensified after the YPG took control of a large area in the northern countryside of Aleppo. Sheikh Maqsoud has been under the control of Kurdish forces since 2012 after clashes with the army of the Syrian regime.
In Aleppo, YPG fighters have been battling the insurgents for months on a heavily contested frontline that includes the district and northern countryside of the city.
In March, Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syrian offshoot, attacked the Sheikh Maqsoud quarter with phosphorous weapons killing more than 10 civilians and wounding dozens.
[A female fighter of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) contemplates the destroyed district of Sheikh Maqsoud by the insurgents, Aleppo, Syria, April 15, 2016. (Photo: YPG Press Office)]
On May 13, in a detailed report, the UK-based human rights group Amnesty International accused the Syrian armed opposition of committing war crimes against the Kurdish civilians in Sheikh Maqsoud.
Amnesty said the heavy bombardment that has been continuously hitting the civilians and the repeated use of chemical weapons in Sheikh Maqsoud amount to war crimes.
YPG, a key ally of both the United States and Russia in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), has been battling insurgents for months on a heavily contested frontline that includes the district and countryside near Aleppo.
Syrian insurgents continue to attack Sheikh Maqsoud because they see YPG as an ally of the Syrian government, a charge that Kurds deny.
Reporting by Hisham Arafat
Editing by Ava Homa