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Militants continue shelling Kurdish area in Syria’s Aleppo: Monitor

File photo shows militants from the so-called Syrian Free Army firing a home-made rocket launcher connected to a tractor in the Sheikh Maqsud neighborhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP photo)

A monitoring group says Takfiri militants continue to shell a Kurdish area in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria, in a blatant violation of a shaky ceasefire agreement.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that militants affiliated with Ahrar al-Sham, an al-Qaeda-linked group, and other terrorist groups continued their attacks against Sheikh Maqsud neighborhood on Wednesday.

The observatory's head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the Takfiri militants aim to capture the neighborhood, which overlooks areas controlled by the Damascus government, in order to have "a launching pad for attacks" on government troops.

Wednesday’s attacks come a day after some 18 civilians were killed in militant attacks on the same neighborhood.

"A major shelling attack on Tuesday has left 18 civilians dead, including three children and two women, a pregnant one and an elderly one," the Observatory said, adding that 70 people, including 30 children, were also injured in the assault.

Abdel Rahman described the attack as "a very clear violation of the ceasefire" brokered by the US and Russia, which took effect on February 27.

The news comes as the Syrian troops, backed by the Russian warplanes, have made major advances in several fronts across the country, especially in the strategic province of Aleppo.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to the UN, at least 270,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Some reports, however, put the death toll at as high as 470,000.

The Syrian army has vowed to press ahead with its counter-terror military operations to drive Daesh elements out of their major strongholds in the conflict-ridden country.

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