Ongoing attacks batter Syrian Kurds despite ceasefire
ALEPPO, Syria (Kurdistan24) – Amid the Syrian peace talks in Geneva and cessation of hostilities, mortars and rockets are still being fired by a coalition of Syrian rebels on a mainly Kurdish residential quarter in the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Kurdish YPG forces reported on Wednesday.
The Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) said in a statement released that the “gang groups” conducted a bombardment with mortar and hell cannons at the neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud at the night of April 12.
“Heavy clashes erupted between YPG forces and the Syrian opposition groups that attempted to infiltrate into [Sheikh Maqsoud] neighborhood, and at least 11 members of the gangs were killed in the clashes,” the YPG statement reads.
The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which exercises wide influence over Kurdish areas in Syria, called upon the United States, Russia and the UN Security Council to exert strenuous efforts to “protect civilians in accordance with international law and conventions.”
“We call upon the UN Security Council to put pressure on the sponsors of those terrorist groups, especially the Justice and Development Party government [of Turkey] which has become a source of global terrorism, threatening international peace and security,” PYD press office said in a statement sent to Kurdistan24 on Wednesday.
“For months, Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, which is predominantly populated by Kurdish residents in Aleppo, has been witnessing indiscriminate and barbaric attacks on innocent civilians, and as a result dozens of people have been killed and hundreds of children, women and the elderly have been seriously wounded,” the PYD statement said.
Additionally, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, stressed that all sides in Syria's five-year-old civil war should stick to a cessation of hostilities and give United Nations-led peace talks a chance.
On Wednesday, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura opened a new round of peace talks in Geneva, saying that senior officials in Moscow, Damascus, Tehran and Amman, had signaled support for a discussion aiming at a political transition in Syria.
A cessation of hostilities agreement, brokered by Russia and the United States on Feb 22 and came into effect on Feb 27, was the first of its kind to be attempted since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Reporting by Hihsham Arafat
Editing by Ava Homa