US-Iranian conflict in Syria’s Hasakah raises concerns of residents

By Samr Yassin

HASAKAH, Syria (North Press) – Bushra Hamid is wondering why innocent civilians in her town in northeast Syria have to struggle with the conflicts of other nations that settle their disputes on their lands. 

Hamid, 32, a resident of the town of Shaddadi, south of Hasakah, northeast Syria, expresses her fear of the repeated Iranian attacks on U.S. base near her town, which sometimes result in casualties.

Hamid told North Press that she used to live a peaceful and stable life. However, the recent attacks have changed the situation upside down.

She noted that this war spares nothing: the elderly, women, and children. “One of our neighbor’s children has been injured during these attacks. What is our fault? What is the fault of our children? We have nothing to do with this distant war.”

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, the conflict has expanded to neighboring countries such as Syria and Iraq, in the midst of the spread of Iranian-backed militias and proxies in those countries.

Covert backing

Although Iran has not officially announced its direct backing for Hamas, the presence of Iranian-backed militias and proxies in those countries has been sufficient for targeting the U.S. bases as a response to Israel’s attacks on Hamas and to alleviate pressure on the Palestinians.

These expansion actions are evident in Syria, where Iranian forces target bases and locations affiliated with the U.S.-led Global Coalition.

The Iranian-affiliated militias are targeting the U.S has bases in northeast Syria with drones. In retaliation for these attacks on its bases, the U.S. conducts airstrikes on Iranian forces’ positions.

Most of the Iranian factions’ activities and strongholds are concentrated in Deir ez-Zor, where several towns have become key hubs for Iranian forces and their affiliated militias.

There is a U.S base in the town of Shaddadi, which has raised concerns among the city’s residents due to the repeated and reciprocal attacks between Tehran and Washington.

Residents in Shaddadi strongly emphasize that these attacks deprive them of their basic rights, such as living in safety and peace.

Affecting the safety

Ibrahim Ghadir, 42, resident of Shaddadi, is concerned about the escalating situation on Syrian territory and the consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the security in his town.

On Jan.29, an unidentified shell landed in the vicinity of a base of the U.S.-led Global Coalition in the town of Shaddadi.

A local source informed North Press that the shell landed on the Tawasuiyah neighborhood which houses the base, adding that the attack did not result in any casualties or material damage.

This base has previously attacked by Iranian factions on Nov.4, 2023.

Ghadir told North Press that these attacks have had a significant impact on the economic situation of the city’s residents.

He said “Civilians in the city have been directly targeted, which is why we are concerned about these attacks.”

Ghadir further explained “Prior these attacks we witnessed a state of stability and security, however the situation is different now, the residents are considering leaving the country in search for safe life.”

On Dec 27, 2023, a mortar shell fell in a residential neighborhood in Shaddadi, approximately 500 meters away from the U.S. base, resulting in the killing of Saleh Salem, an old man in his 70th.

The same day, another shell hit the town resulting in child to have his foot amputated. The Kurdish Red Crescent provided immediate medical assistance and transferred the child to one of the hospitals in Hasakah.

These attacks on service and residential sites have had a negative impact on the lives of the city’s residents, Rahma al-Darmak, told North Press that “these attacks affect everyone in Shaddadiincluding children, men, and women, we are all in danger.”

Al-Darmak believes that these actions create a state of fear and panic whenever a shell falls in or near the town. This situation significantly affects the residents’ living conditions and security.