Turkey-backed rebels bomb SDF-held areas north Syria, civilian casualties reported

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Manbij – Turkey-backed rebels of the Euphrates Shield Brigades on Tuesday bombed several villages west of Manbij city, in a renewed offensive against areas held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The Turkey-backed rebels bombed the villages of Sheikh Nassir, Sab Weran, al-Yalani, Kawikli, Qirt Weran, and Jab al-Dam. The bombardment caused civilian casualties and a massive destruction to residential buildings, local sources told ARA News.

The indiscriminate artillery shelling caused the death of at least ten civilians and the injury of over 40 others, who were immediately transferred to the Manbij Hospital for treatment.

The attack has also caused a mass displacement among the residents of the targeted villages towards the city of Manbij.

“We condemn this intervention by Turkey. We want to tell Erdogan that the people of Manbij are able to protect themselves,” Saleh Haj Muhammed, Deputy Chief of the Manbij Civilian Council, told ARA News.

“Our forces (SDF) have liberated the city from ISIS and they are able to protect the city and its people against any offensives, whether by the Turkish state or its mercenaries,” he said, in reference to the Turkish-backed rebel groups.

Adnan Abu Amjad, Commander of the SDF-led Manbij Military Council, called Tuesday’s attacks on the countryside of Manbij “irresponsible action that requires a fierce response”.

“These irresponsible actions by Turkey and its allies are strongly condemned. The indiscriminate bombardment on our forces and civilians’ houses is an explicit violation.” the commander told ARA News.

“Since the liberation of Manbij city and its countryside from ISIS last August, we have been facing this Turkish aggression,” Amjad said.

“While the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield Brigades claim to fight ISIS in the region, they keep bombing Manbij and its countryside. The Turkish air force has also launched air raids on the security centres of the Manbij council,” he told ARA News. “We have chosen resistance to face this aggression by Turkey and its allied Euphrates Shield Brigades.”

The Turkish army forces and allied rebel groups in Syria have repeatedly targeted areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces, including Manbij, Tel Abyad and other mostly-Kurdish areas.

The Rojava Self-Administration has condemned the Turkish attacks on northern Syria, calling on the international community to make serious efforts to stop these violations.

Reporting by: Enwer Omar | Source: ARA News

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Turkish army bombs Syria’s Azaz, civilian casualties reported

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Aleppo At least ten civilians were killed and others wounded after the Turkish army and allied rebels bombed the countryside of Azaz in Syria’s northern Aleppo Governorate, activists and eyewitnesses reported on Monday.

The Turkish army and rebel fighters of the Euphrates Shield hit the town of Dwebik in Azaz District with heavy artillery.

The targeted town and other areas in Azaz District are held by the Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants.

Turkey’s military said in a statement that its forces supported the Euphrates Shield rebels in bombing ISIS headquarters in the area. However, local sources said that most of the casualties were civilians.

“The Turkish shelling hit a populated neighbourhood in Dwebik, killing 11 civilians and injuring 15 others,” local media activist Alwan al-Halabi told ARA News.

The bombardment also caused a mass destruction to residential buildings in the town.

“Local rescue teams are still searching for victims under the ruble,” Dr Hassan Othman, a member of the medical team in Dwebik, told ARA News.

“Some of the injured who have been pulled from under the ruins were seriously injured. We appeal to the United Nations and NGOs to provide assistance. A medical support is urgently needed,” Dr Othman said.

Ahmed Arraj, a member of the Syrian Democratic Coalition in Afrin, told ARA News that Turkey and allied Islamist groups have been “purposively bombing civilians”.

“We all know that Turkey has a broad network of informers in the region, especially in ISIS-held areas. Thus, it’s not possible that they haven’t known about the presence of dozens of civilians in the targeted neighbourhood. There have been no injuries in ISIS’ ranks. All casualties were civilians,” Arraj said.

Reporting by: Saman Jiwan | Source: ARA News

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Syrian Islamists attack Kurdish district in Aleppo, civilian casualties reported

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ALEPPO Islamist rebel groups launched on Saturday a renewed attack on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo city, killing and wounding a number of civilians.

Local sources reported that fighters of the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and allied groups shelled the Kurdish-populated Sheikh Maqsoud district with mortars.

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

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

Ahrar al-Sham Movement, backed by the al-Qaeda splinter group of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham [previously known as Nusra Front], used their bases in the nearby neighbourhoods of Ain al-Tal and Baedin to bomb Sheikh Maqsoud district.

The Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud has been under siege by Syrian Islamist rebels for years, and violence has recently intensified in the district as the Kurdish YPG forces have been trying to push back the Islamist groups.

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 outage has continued for nearly three years because of repeated attack by Islamists on the main power network outside the district. “These groups are apparently punishing the people of Sheikh Maqsoud for their support to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who have been engaged in fighting with radical Islamists around the city of Aleppo,” he said in an earlier interview.

Reporting by: Jamil Mukarram | Source: ARA News

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Syrian airforce bombs ISIS-held areas in Deir ez-Zor, civilian casualties reported

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DEIR EZZOR The Syrian airforce launched several airstrikes on the town of al-Muhasan in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor on Friday, causing casualties among civilians.

Al-Muhasan is held by the militant group of Islamic State (ISIS). The group also controls other major areas of Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate. 

“The Syrian warplanes bombed al-Muhasan town with three airstrikes on Friday evening. The strikes targeted residential buildings, leading to casualties among civilians,” rights activist Bashir al-Hamid told ARA News. 

At least seven civilians were killed and 12 others were injured in the raids.

“Rescue teams are still searching for victims under the rubble,” the local source reported.

In the meantime, clashes broke out between ISIS militants and Syrian army forces near the Sinaa District in Deir ez-Zor City on Friday midnight. At least 20 ISIS militants and 14 Syrian soldiers were killed in the clashes, media activists reported.  

Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa

Source: ARA News

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Turkish army bombs Kurdish town northwest Syria, civilian casualties reported

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AFRIN Turkish army forces bombed the Kurdish town of Afrin in Aleppo province in northern Syria with heavy artillery on Thursday, causing casualties among civilians, activists and eyewitnesses reported. 

At least six civilians were killed and eight others were injured in the Turkish bombardment, which targeted the Sourkeh district in Afrin. 

“Turkey’s military forces, stationed on the Syrian border, launched dozens of artillery shells on Afrin. At least 50 shells hit residential buildings in the Sourkeh district,” rights activist Roj Musa told ARA News in Afrin. 

“Six civilians lost their lives so far, and eight others were injured, some of them are in critical condition,” Musa reported.

The bombardment also caused huge destruction in residential buildings. Local rescue teams continued searching for survivors under the rubble.

In the meantime, the Kurdish administration in Afrin issued a list of the names of the victims, and condemned the Turkish attack. 

“While our forces continue to fight radical Islamists in the vicinity of Afrin and other areas of Aleppo province, the Turkish authorities intensified their military operations against the Kurdish areas in northern Syria,” a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG forces told ARA News in Afrin.

“The attack on Afrin confirms that Turkey’s intervention in Syria is mainly aimed at fighting the Kurds. All victims of Afrin attack were civilians, non of them was a terrorist as Turkey tries to claim,” the official said. 

Reporting by: Siman Jiwan

Source: ARA News

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Syrian army bombs Kurdish district, civilian casualties reported

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HASAKAH Syrian regime’s army forces launched an offensive on a Kurdish district in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, activists and eyewitnesses reported on Friday. 

Pro-regime forces have reportedly bombed the Aziziyah district in southern Hasakah with heavy artillery.

At least nine civilians were killed, including seven children, and 24 others wounded in the bombardment of the Kurdish-majority Aziziyah district. 

“The shelling targeted residential buildings in the district. Some of the injured are in critical conditions,” rights activist Ahmed Hussein told ARA News in Hasakah. 

“Local rescue teams and Kurdish Asayish forces continued searching for victims trapped under the rubble. The death toll may rise in the coming hours,” the source said. 

This comes amid growing tensions between Kurdish forces and pro-regime troops in Hasakah. 

On Thursday, Kurdish neighborhoods in Hasakah were exposed to heavy shelling and airstrikes by the regime forces. 

The Assad regime has used warplanes to bomb Hasakah for the first time on Thursday, according to local sources. At least five civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in the regime bombardment in the Kurdish-held Kalasseh and Mahatta neighborhoods, informed local sources old ARA News. 

Also, the city saw a wave of displacement among the people who tried to head to more stable areas in the province. This while many civilians remained stranded in Hasakah’s conflicted areas where clashes continued between the Kurdish Asayish forces and the pro-regime troops.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste

Source: ARA News

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Syrian airforce bombs hospital in Idlib, civilian casualties reported

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ALEPPO The Syrian regime’s airforce on Sunday bombed a hospital in the northwestern Idlib province, causing casualties among civilians, activists reported. 

At least 12 people were killed, including four children, and more than a dozen were injured when a Syrian airstrike hit a hospital in the rebel-held Meles town in the countryside of Idlib province.

“The strike caused a huge damage in the building,” local media activist Salah al-Hallo told ARA News in Idlib. “Local rescue teams are still searching for victims stranded under the rubble.” 

In the meantime, humanitarian groups called on the Assad regime to halt airstrikes on hospitals and other medical facilities.

“Targeting medical centres means purposively killing civilians. Hospitals are meant to provide medical treatment for people, especially those being injured during the ongoing fighting in the area,” Dr M. Munzir told ARA News.

“Most of the hospitals in Idlib are destroyed due to the war, and we’re forced to install makeshift hospitals in order to rescue as many patients as possible, this amid a sharp shortage of medical supplies,” he said. 

According to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), July was the worst month for attacks on healthcare centers since the beginning of Syria’s five-year-old war.

“There were 43 attacks on healthcare facilities in Syria in July – more than one attack every day,” the SAMS said in a statement said.

Reporting by: Helin Saeed

Source: ARA News

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Explosion hit oil-rich Syrian town of Shaddadi, civilian casualties reported

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HASAKAH – At least four civilians were killed and nine more injured on Monday after a motorcycle bomb blown up in the town of Shaddadi south of Syria’s Hasakah province, local sources reported. 

The Kurdish police force –also known as Asayish– has deployed its troops in Shaddadi countryside after a motorcycle bomb exploded in front of an internet café in the village of Arysha, leading to the death of four civilians and the injury of nine more. 

Local activists told ARA News that ISIS is most likely behind the attack, saying a member of the extremist group has carried out the attack, since the targeted town used to be under ISIS control for at least two years.

This is not the first time that ISIS carried out attacks on civilians in SDF-held areas.

Also, there have been occasional clashes between SDF forces and ISIS near Shaddadi, in which also foreign fighters of the SDF, such as Gunter Helsten from Germany and Jamie Bright from Australia, were killed.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the oil-rich town with coalition support in late February this year, capturing one of the last ISIS strongholds in the Hasakah province, leading to celebrations in Kurdish cities.

Reporting by: Jan Mohammed and Qehraman Miste

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Syria Islamists renew shelling on Kurdish district in Aleppo, civilian casualties reported

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ALEPPO – On Saturday, Syrian Islamist factions renewed their bombardment on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo city, causing casualties among civilians. 

At least four people were killed and over 15 others wounded, mostly women and children, after Syrian Islamist groups hit Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood with dozens of rockets and mortar shells, local activists told ARA News. 

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and other Islamist factions participated in bombing the Kurdish district on Saturday. 

A spokesman for the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG)–that are in control of Sheikh Maqsoud–told ARA News that the shelling continued until Saturday evening, “causing mass destruction to residential buildings beside killing and wounding twenty civilians”. 

“Some of the injured are in critical situation. Civil defense volunteers are still searching for survivors under the rubble,” Kurdish civil rights activist Rezan Hiddo told ARA News in Aleppo. 

Amnesty International calls for blocking of arms to Islamists attacking Kurds in Aleppo

Amnesty International said that armed groups attacking the Kurdish neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo since February have killed at least 83 civilians, and called on Turkey, Gulf states and others to stop the transfer of arms to the Aleppo Conquest operations room–an umbrella for Syrian Islamist rebels.

“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,” Amnesty said last week.

The organization has gathered strong evidence of serious violations from eyewitnesses, and obtained the names of at least 83 civilians, including 30 children, who were killed by attacks in Sheikh Maqsoud between February and April 2016. 

More than 700 civilians were also injured, according to the local field hospital. Video evidence shows artillery shelling, rocket and mortar attacks carried out by the Fatah Halab (Aleppo Conquest) coalition of armed Islamist groups in the area, targeting the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) controlling the district.

“The relentless pummelling of Sheikh Maqsoud has devastated the lives of civilians in the area. A wide array of armed groups from the Fatah Halab coalition has launched what appear to be repeated indiscriminate attacks that may amount to war crimes,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, interim Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

There are around 30,000 civilians living in Sheikh Maqsoud which is a predominately Kurdish part of Aleppo city.

Islamists Punish Kurdish Civilians

The Kurds in Sheikh Maqsoud suffer from the absence of many services as a result of the blockade imposed by Islamist rebel groups on their district, mainly by the Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria). 

Speaking to ARA News, Luqman Ismail, one of the stranded citizens in Sheikh Maqsoud, said that electricity outage continues for nearly three years because of the barbaric bombardment led by Islamist rebels on the main network of power outside the district. 

“These groups are apparently punishing the people of Sheikh Maqsoud for their support to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are engaged in fighting with Islamist rebels around the city of Aleppo,” he reported.

“People now depend on power generators that work only 4-5 hours per day. We also suffer from the lack of fuel to run these generators,” Ismail added. 

Reporting by: Shero Darwish

Source: ARA News

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