Turkey-based Syrian opposition kills Kurds in Aleppo

On early Saturday morning, armed groups linked to the Turkish-based Syrian opposition killed seven civilians and wounded dozens in a bombardment on Aleppo, Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
author_image Hisham Arafat

ALEPPO, Syria (Kurdistan24) – On early Saturday morning, armed groups linked to the Turkish-based Syrian opposition killed seven civilians and wounded dozens in a bombardment on a predominantly-Kurdish neighborhood of Aleppo, northern Syria.

Ossama Muhammad, a Kurdish journalist, working with activists who monitor the war in Rojava spoke to Kurdistan24 about the violence.

He said that the Syrian Arab Opposition Coalition shelled the Sheikh Maqsoud quarter of Aleppo with Hell canons (improvised weapons made of gas cylinders) and mortars.

“At least seven Kurdish civilians lost their lives, and about 40 others were wounded in the bombardment,” Muhammad added.

Additionally, the Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) said in a statement that the armed groups of the Syrian Arab Coalition and al-Qaeda affiliated groups are targeting civilians, not the military bases.

“The ongoing shelling demolished dozens of houses, and there are still dead people under debris,” the YPG statement said.

The tension between Kurdish forces and opposition units has 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 Syrian regime army.

YPG is a key ally of both the United States and Russia in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). The group has been battling insurgents for months on a heavily contested frontline that includes the district and countryside near Aleppo.

However, Syrian insurgents continue to attack Sheikh Maqsoud because they view YPG as an ally of the Syrian government, a charge the Kurds deny.

On May 13, in a detailed report, UK-based human rights group Amnesty International accused the Syrian armed opposition groups of committing war crimes against Kurdish civilians in Sheikh Maqsoud.

Amnesty said the continuous heavy bombardment and the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Sheikh Maqsoud amount to war crimes.

 

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG), wearing vests with the YPG logo, stand along a street in Aleppo's Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood, June 19, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany