ALEPPO, Syria — Dozens of inhabitants of the Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood queued for bread that is distributed to help the displaced and poor. To avoid the rush, Fatima headed to the local council’s office during the early morning hours to pick up some bread and other products. While she waited her turn, Fatima told Al-Monitor her story: “I could no longer bear to risk my children’s lives. We could hear the sounds of barrels and missiles coming down on our houses in al-Maysar neighborhood almost daily. After several attempts, my husband agreed to leave the house and settle in Sheikh Maksoud.”
Sheikh Maksoud, located in the northwest of Aleppo, is considered a safe haven for the displaced. Arab and Kurdish families alike go there to escape the shelling in the eastern neighborhoods under the opposition’s grip. Hundreds of families from Kobani sought shelter there in the wake of the battles between the Islamic State and the Kurdish forces.