Syrian Kurds flee Daesh-held areas amid abductions
Daesh Takfiri terrorists have reportedly killed and injured several Kurdish people fleeing militant-held villages in northern Syria.
Opposition activists and a Kurdish official said Saturday that hundreds of Kurds were fleeing as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Armenian, and Turkmen fighters, backed by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), engaged in clashes with Daesh militants inside Manbij city, a key stronghold of the terrorist group.
Sherfan Darwish, an SDF spokesman, said a 10-year-old girl was killed by Daesh sniper fire. One family who fled was also struck by a mine that killed two family members and wounded the other three, he added.
“Civilians are defying death in order to leave areas controlled by Daesh,” Darwish said.
According to the head of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, many of those fleeing are heading to areas that were recently captured by the SDF south of the Daesh-held town of Mare.
Rami Abdel Rahman said terrorists had opened fire on those fleeing, killing several of them, including children.
According to Abdel Rahman, some 120 more Kurds have been abducted since Friday.
The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an activist-run monitoring group, also said Daesh terrorists opened fire at people trying to flee Manbij, and killed 10 of them, including children.
The Syria Democratic Council, the political wing of SDF, called on the international community and aid groups to supply those fleeing with whatever they need, saying many of them are in open areas.
The council said the world should help the SDF “prevent the occurrence of a catastrophe or a massacre,” saying there were “indications” one might happen.
Kurdish and Arab fighters advance into teh Daesh terrorist group’s bastion of Manbij, in northern Syria, on June 23, 2016. © AFP
Manbij lies along the only Daesh supply line between the Syrian-Turkish border to the north and the extremist group’s main stronghold, Raqqah, which lies to the southeast.
If Manbij is captured, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for Daesh in Syria since July 2015, when the terrorist group lost the strategically important town of Tal Abyad on Syria’s border with Turkey.
The exodus of people from villages in northern Syria began after Daesh kidnapped about 900 Kurdish civilians in Aleppo province over the past three weeks.
Some of the abducted Kurds have been reportedly forced to build fortifications for Daesh while others are being used as human shields.
Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
The Syrian army has vowed to press ahead with its counter-terror operations and drive terrorists out of their major positions.