Turkish shelling force residents of Syria’s Hasakah to sleep in the open

TEL TAMR, Syria (North Press) – In the village of al-Mujaibra in the countryside of Tel Tamr town, north of Hasakah, northeast Syria, Ahmad al-Shelo examines his destroyed house as a result of the bombing by Turkish forces and Turkish-backed armed Syrian factions, which are stationed on the outskirts of the village.

For more than a month, dozens of villages north of Tel Tamr have been witnessing intensive shelling on the frontlines between areas held by Turkish-backed factions and those held by Forces of both Tel Tamer and Syriac Military Councils which are affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

So far, the shelling resulted in the destruction of several houses, properties, and the killing and injury of dozens of residents.

“We sleep in the open”

Days ago, shrapnel scattered and an artillery shell, which did not explode, fell down among the debris of al-Shelo’s house.  

“Here we do not feel safe, because shells may fall on us any time,” al-Shelo said.

“Despite having no militants in the village, shelling continues and targets our possessions, as you see,” he added.

“Those, who are stayed in the village, spent the night in the agricultural lands for fear of losing their lives inside their houses,” al-Shelo stated.

Despite signing two separate ceasefire agreements between with both Russia and the US in 2019 following the its invasion on Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Tel Abyad, the families in villages near frontlines are worried about their fate in light of the Turkish escalation in the region. 

“The almost daily bombardment, which has been going on for about a month, has no specific timing. Sometimes it takes place throughout the night and other times during the day.”

Additionally, the shelling targeted vital, service, and education facilities in the countryside of Tel Tamr including power stations and lines causing them to went out of service.

Most of the shells fall down and do not explode raising residents’ fears regarding their lives and their children’s lives since most of them graze sheep and cultivate their lands on the outskirts of the village, according to al-Shelo.

“These bombs, when they are fired, light up the sky and turn night into day,” he noted, holding remnants of an exploding light bomb in his hand. 

As a result of the successive Turkish shelling, dozens of families in the northern villages left their houses and headed towards the town of Tel Tamr and different cities in the Jazira region.

This is taking place in a time when IDP camps in Hasakah, which are overcrowded, refuse to receive new families, according to families.

Meanwhile, both the Syriac and Tel Tamr Military Councils ban the move between the villages near the frontlines as a result of targeting transportations.

As for al-Dardara village, one kilometer from al-Mujaibra, it is witnessing an almost daily bombardment.  

More than two-thirds of the village was destroyed, as well as the school and the service council building, local military officials indicated.

Ten days ago, the young man Jihad Ali was wounded by shrapnel of a shell that fell near him while he was grazing his sheep in the vicinity of his village.

Ali tried to protect himself from the shelling, but a shell fell near him, “wounding my leg as a result of the scattered shrapnel,” he added.

“For about a month, we have not stayed in the village, we came to inspect our houses, on a daily basis, and then we return to sleep in the open,” he added.

Reporting by Delsoz Youssef