ALEPPO – Militant fighters of al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda wing in Syria, launched on Tuesday a mortar attack on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo, causing casualties among civilians, local sources reported.
“Nusra militants fired dozens of mortar shells on a crowded market in central Sheikh Maqsoud. At least two civilians were killed and 13 others wounded in the bombardment,” rights activist Haytham Mahmoud told ARA News in Aleppo.
Sheikh Maqsoud is under the control of the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Subsequent to the attack, clashes broke out between the Kurdish fighters and Nusra militants in the vicinity of Sheikh Maqsoud on Tuesday evening.
Speaking to ARA News, YPG spokesman Habun Osman said that the clashes centered in the eastern part of the district, “where Nusra terrorists were trying to take over a security checkpoint for the YPG”.
“The YPG used heavy machine guns in the clashes, killing six Nusra militants and wounding four others. The group has then withdrawn from the area,” he said, adding that three YPG fighters were injured in the clashes and subsequently transferred to the medical center of Sheikh Maqsoud for treatment.
Tuesday’s clashes have reached the Bani Zaid neighborhood outside Sheikh Maqsoud, as the Kurdish forces were trying to push back Nusra militants.
“We have been eventually able to repel the attack in the midnight, and our units are currently installing two new checkpoints to deter future offensives by the Islamists in Sheikh Maqsoud,” the YPG official told ARA News.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants of al-Nusra Front have recently intensified their attacks on the Kurdish districts of Aleppo, amid resistance by the YPG fighters who have been trying to fortify their headquarters and the Kurdish areas in the province.