BEIRUT – Residents of a Kurdish neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo fled Sunday under intense government shelling estimated at three shells per minute, activists said.
The bombardment on the Sheikh Maqsood district came two days after opposition fighters said they seized the strategic neighborhood. Residents were told to leave as government troops fought to regain parts of the district, said Riyad Islam, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center.
The mostly Kurdish residents fled to the predominantly Kurdish town of Efrin, northwest of Aleppo, he said.
Aleppo, once Syria’s economic hub, has experienced intense fighting and aerial bombardment from government troops, interspersed with short periods of calm, since the rebels attempted to seize control of the city in the summer. Parts of Aleppo are under opposition control while others remain in government hands.
In the east of Syria, state media reported that “armed terrorist groups” set oil wells ablaze Sunday in the Deir Ezzor province after a dispute about sharing oil. The government refers to the opposition as terrorists.