Rebels may have used chemical weapons in Syria's Aleppo: Report

    Rebels may have used chemical weapons in Syria's Aleppo: Report

    May 13, Aleppo: A Syrian rebel group that is laying siege to a Kurdish district in Aleppo may have used chemical weapons, as well as so-called "hell cannon" rockets made from gas canisters, report said.

    According Amnesty International report, groups fighting under an alliance known as Jaish al-Fatah have been carrying out indiscriminate attacks on the predominantly Kurdish Sheikh Maqsoud district of the city.

    The rebels may have used chemical weapons to target civilian homes, markets and mosques, killing and injuring civilians, Amnesty said on Friday.

    The report said, among the weapons used by the groups were unguided projectiles, which cannot be accurately aimed, such as mortars, home-made 'Hamim' rockets, and the gas cannister rockets. 

    "Hell cannon" projectiles are usually made with cooking gas canisters, which are packed with explosives and fitted with a fin before being fired from home-made canons. "Two of the armed groups conducting attacks on Sheikh Maqsoud - Ahrar al-Sham and Army of Islam - have sent representatives to the UN-brokered negotiations on Syria in Geneva, while the others have approved delegates to represent them at the talks," Amnesty said.

    There are around 30,000 civilians living in Sheikh Maqsoud, a district controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) forces, and the area has come under sustained attack from opposition armed groups who control areas to the north, east and west of the district, according to the report. 

    Taj Kordsh, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance which includes the YPG, Jaish al-Thuwar and other Kurdish groups, told Al Jazeera there have been several such attacks in recent months.

    Amnesty said it obtained the names of at least 83 civilians, including 30 children, who were killed by attacks in Sheikh Maqsoud between February and April.

    One man, Mohamad, lost seven members of his family when his home was struck by an improvised "Hamim" rocket launched by an armed group on 5 April, the group said.

    The Oslo Times


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