Day Laborers In Syria’s Kobani Not Safe From Turkish Attacks

This report by Fattah Issa was published by North Press Agency on 29 December, 2022. You can also read the solidarity message from Water for Rojava to the injured workers.

Bozan Sheikh Nabi, 50, who works in a maintenance workshop in a water pump station in the countryside of Kobani, northern Syria, left home to work as usual. 

Little did he know that he would lose his hearing and suffer a brain hemorrhage while attending his weekly work in providing drinking water for the people of Kobani. 

On Dec. 22, three civilians, who work for the Water Directorate in Kobani were injured in a Turkish shelling while doing maintenance work in the village of Shyoukh, west of the city.  

On the same day, another person was injured in a Turkish shelling on the village of Chareqli west of Kobani. Relatives of the wounded told North Press that he suffered from mild injuries.  

There had been Turkish shelling on the villages of Goran and Qaramogh in the eastern countryside of Kobani on the same day. 

Sheikh Nabi has not recovered yet although he has been discharged from the hospital. 

Kobani, along with all areas in north and northeast Syria, are subject to continuing shelling by the Turkish forces leaving casualties and material damage. 

In September 2014, ISIS launched a war on the city of Kobani and took control of the entire countryside and a large area of the city claiming the lives of hundreds of military personnel and civilians, and displacement of hundreds of thousands of others. Months later, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), supported by the US air force managed to defeat ISIS militarily in January 2015.   

Muhammad Sheikh Nabi, 45, who is Bozan’s sibling, said that his brother usually supervises and monitors the maintenance of the water pump station and delivering drinking water to the city of Kobani. 

He added that his brother’s injuries were more severe than his co-workers’. He said that the doctors extracted a 3-to-5-cm shrapnel that hit his head. 

He also suffers from a brain hemorrhage, a broken right shoulder, and loss of hearing.  

Fadel Bazar, 50, the supervisor of the water pump stations and tanks in the Water Directorate in Kobani, also was injured. 

Bazar said that on Dec. 22 at 12:30 pm after they finished working on the pumps in the village of Shyoukh, their car was hit. 

The shell that hit their car from the back came from the city of Jarablus across the Euphrates River, he told North Press.

Bazar added that he was injured in his head, behind the ear, and his eye noting that he does not know if there was any small shrapnel in his burned face. 

They work on delivering drinking water from the Euphrates River to the city and 16 villages in the western countryside. They do maintenance daily and observe the performance of the pumps for any malfunction, he explained.  

On the other hand, Muslem Khalil Ismail, 55, who is an assistant supervisor of maintenance, did not know what happened, saying he heard a loud bang and could not see from the dust. 

He experienced tinnitus and vertigo. Moments later, he realized the car was burning and rushed to grab Bozan from the car. 

Ismail had minor injuries in comparison to his co-workers therefore he was able to call an ambulance. 

Read the Water for Rojava solidarity message to the injured workers.