A muddied military vehicle drives on a street after al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front militants and allied forces took control of al-Iss town in Aleppo Province, Syria, on April 2, 2016. (© Reuters)
Human Rights Watch says at least 30,000 civilians have fled the latest bout of skirmishes between the Takfiri Daesh terrorists and rival militant groups in northern Syria over the past 48 hours.
On Friday, the New York-based watchdog also criticized Turkish border guards for opening fire on a number of Syrians approaching the Syrian-Turkish border in the wake of violence in Syria’s strategic northwestern province of Aleppo, calling on Ankara to open its border to them.
“As civilians flee IS (Daesh) group militants, Turkey is responding with live ammunition instead of compassion,” HRW researcher Gerry Simpson said.
He added, “The whole world is talking about fighting IS group, and yet those most at risk of becoming victims of its horrific abuses are trapped on the wrong side of a concrete wall.”
The HRW official said many of those who have fled the bloody fighting between Daesh and Takfiri militants are actually residents of emergency camps set up along the border that have headed for other camps or nearby towns in search of security.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that about 23,000 people have fled the latest Daesh offensive in northern Syria.
It said the bulk of those displaced in Aleppo Province by the fighting are “in close proximity to frontlines and therefore extremely vulnerable to further escalations.”
Syrian government forces patrol in the village of Khan Tuman on the southern outskirts of Aleppo City on April 11, 2016 following clashes in the area with Takfiri militants the previous night. (© AFP)
Meanwhile, Syrian government forces engaged in clashes with Daesh terrorists near Aleppo, located about 355 kilometers (220 miles) north of the capital, Damascus, and battled members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front terrorist outfit nearby.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Friday that fierce fighting broke out between Syrian troops and Daesh east of Handarat region.
Syrian fighter jets also carried out several airstrikes against Nusra Front positions on a northern front in Aleppo Province.
According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond Syria’s borders. The observatory, however, puts the number at about 270,000.