Syria sends aid to 2,000 displaced Kurdish families

The Syrian government Thursday sent aid convoys to as many as 2,000 Kurdish families displaced by the ongoing grinding war between the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish militants in the northern city of Kobane, according to the state-run news agency SANA.

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 17, 2014, 02:04 AM IST

Damascus: The Syrian government Thursday sent aid convoys to as many as 2,000 Kurdish families displaced by the ongoing grinding war between the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish militants in the northern city of Kobane, according to the state-run news agency SANA.

Minister of Social Affairs Kinda Shammat said aid convoys were sent to one thousand displaced Kurdish families in the northern province of Hasaka and to another thousand who sought refuge in the northern city of Ifreen in the province of Aleppo, the report said.

The minister stated the city of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobane, is living a "tragic humanitarian situation" as a result of the month-long battles between the IS fighters and the Kurdish People's Protection Units(YPG).

The aid convoy is believed to be the first to be sent by the Syrian government to afflicted Syrian Kurds since the IS unleashed its crushing offensive against the strategic city of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish borders.

Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the IS fighters shelled Kobane with over 16 mortar shells since Thursday morning, adding that the US-led anti-terror coalition also renewed airstrikes against the IS in the battered city, Xinhua reported.

While stating that the battles are still going on in the city, the Observatory said there are preliminary information indicating the advancement of the YPG against the IS assailants in Kobane.

Earlier in the day, the Observatory said well over 600 fighters, including civilians, have been killed in the city since the battle erupted between the IS and YPG one month ago.

The IS unleashed its wide-scale offensive in Kobane Sep 15 in a bid to capture the city, which, if succeeded, would enable the IS to link its self-declared capital of al-Raqqa province with the city and stretch its territory to areas bordering Turkey.

Syrian government officials and Kurdish activists have accused Turkey of aiding the IS in capturing the city so as to eliminate the Kurdish presence in the area and impose a long-desired buffer area protected by a no-fly zone in northern Syria.

The IS has captured more than 300 villages around the city and managed to storm it after forcing over 160,000 people to flee toward neighbouring Turkey.