The local residents of the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in the city of Aleppo have retrospected the harsh attack, that was launched by the armed opposition groups, which were positioning in Bustan al-Basha neighborhood, in February 2016, on the neighborhood where it lasted for two months.
Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood, which has been under the control of People's Protection Units (YPG) since 2012, was subjected to constant bombardment by al-Nusra Front, Jaysh al-Islam, and other armed opposition groups which were besieging the neighborhood from all sides till June 2016, resulting in casualties and destroying civilian properties.
Amin Mannan Mohammad, who lost his son in the shelling, said to North-Press: "Despite the pressure, we didn't leave our neighborhood, we caught between two fires, the armed opposition groups on one hand and the Syrian government forces, which were targeting us justifying that by error, on the other hand. My son lost his life due to shrapnel, which fell on our street.”
In its report issued on May 13, 2016, Amnesty International stated that the armed opposition groups, positioning around Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood in the city of Aleppo, launched consecutive indiscriminate bombardment, targeting the civilians' houses, the streets, the markets and the mosques, killing and injuring many civilians, "reflecting a defective disregard of human's life.”
While Delshan Osman, a resident in the neighborhood, said that they didn't get out of the neighborhood, they lived all the events, among which was February 16 events, saying: "My family consisted of 12 members, when the neighborhood was subjected to a severe offensive with different kinds of weapons, which was said later that, it was unintentionally or by error.”
She added that during the shelling, they resorted to the lower floors and stayed without electricity and food, "even little water was available!” She said that once they spent 20 days without cooking, but depending on thyme and tomato paste, because the armed groups tightened the crossings of the neighborhoods.
In its report issued on May 13, 2016, the Amnesty International classified those offensives as "war crimes,” and collected proofs of critical violations from eyewitnesses, and could get the names of 83 civilians at least, including 30 children, who were killed during the attacks on Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood from February to April 2016, while about 700 civilians were injured.
For its part, and in its report issued in April 2016, the YPG accused the armed opposition groups of killing more than 40 civilians in the indiscriminate shelling on Sheikh Maqsoud.
Fayza Khalil, from the neighborhood, said to North-Press: "It is said that they were 27 groups, they attacked us with many kinds of weapons, including tanks, "al-Fil" missiles (a kind of missiles manufactured by Ahrar al-Sham group), shells and gas cylinders, they bombed us even by chemical gas, but we resisted them.”
Residents of the neighborhood said that they were subjected to bombardment by chemical and prohibited weapons three times in 2016, first of which was on March 8, the second on April 7 and the third was on April 8th.
After the harsh battles, which lasted for two months, the YPG was able to exclude the groups to al-Shqeif and Kafr Hamra areas, in northern outskirts of Aleppo, until the Syrian government forces could took control over the stronghold of the armed groups in al-Sakan al-Shababi and Bani Zeid neighborhoods, in the northern and eastern outskirts of Aleppo in Summer 2016.