January 23, 2018 / 10:37 AM / in 4 months

Syrian Observatory: thousands flee Afrin attack, blocked by government forces

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Thousands of people are fleeing fighting and Turkish shelling and bombardment of the Kurdish Afrin region in northwestern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The Britain-based war monitor, citing unidentified sources, said Syrian government forces were preventing people fleeing Afrin from crossing government-held checkpoints into Kurdish-held districts of Aleppo city.

Syrian government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The city of Afrin, located in a Kurdish-controlled area of northwestern Syria, is around 50 km (30 miles) from Aleppo city, a mostly government-held city where Kurdish militia control the Sheikh Maqsoud district.

Writing by Tom Perry; editing by John Stonestreet

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