The Sheikh Maqsood district in Aleppo held by the Kurdish YPG militias was again shelled with a chemical agents causing several to be injured and killed as a result. A local journalist on the ground reported,
“The attack was carried out between 11.30 and 12.00 local time. The gas that was used in this attack, caused choking and malaise among those affected. This indicates that the poisoning substances were used in the attack. Four people have been injured.”
A video allegedly shot in the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood shows several men experiencing difficulty breathing and a voice behind the camera saying there was a chemical attack in the area. Kurdish journalist Kovan Direj reported that civilians and People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters had been exposed to yellow smoke. Direj reported that nine civilians were killed and 29 injured in the shelling.
The Russian military stated that within 24 hours, Islamic State and its sister faction, Al-Nusra have been stepping up armed provocations against civilians and government troops in the area, which included an attempt to capture the village of Handrat. A Russian official said,
“Over the past 24 hours [the militants] shelled he village Handrat with mortars 6 times, killed two and wounded six more civilians.”
Last month, Islamist fighters used yellow phosphorous in a chemical attack on the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood, according to YPG. Redur Xelilm, YPG’s spokesman said in a statement,
“We hereby inform you that on March 8, 2016 at 15:00, shelling [was carried out] with rockets that carry chemical material, which we believe to be yellow phosphorous chemical weapon, on Sheikh Maqsud neighborhood by the Syrian armed opposition factions and battalions.”
Several Kurdish militia soldiers were admitted to a hospital following the reported chemical attack and were reportedly suffering from itching skin and other symptoms of a chemical poisoning. The ceasefire in Syria came into force at midnight Damascus time on February 27 and does not cover groups officially recognized as terror-organizations by the UN Security Council, namely Islamic State and Al Nusra.
What would be the best course of action the Kurds would need to take to protect themselves against these chemical attacks? Sound off in the comments below!