Rampant phenomenon | Celebratory live gunfire trigger panic among Al-Hasakah’s residents and disturb them
Indiscriminate and celebratory live gunfire has become a worrying phenomenon in streets and neighbourhoods of Al-Hasakah city, were many people are used to fired bullets in the air on any occasions, mostly during family occasions, such as weddings, passing exams and birthdays.
This indiscriminate gunfire disturbs the city’s residents and harm civilians inside their houses, while many civilians avoid going up to roofs or getting out of houses during celebratory live gunfire.
Recently, SOHR activists have documented the injury of many civilians in Al-Hasakah city, because of indiscriminate gunshots, despite warnings by the Internal Security Forces and circulars warning against indiscriminate gunfire under the penalty of paying fines and imprisonment. The most prominent factor behind the spread of this phenomenon is manifested in the proliferation of arms among civilians, as weapons have become readily available for civilians, especially after the onset of the Syrian Revolution in 2011. At that time, people started to possess weapons with the aim of protecting their properties and showing off, according to residents in Al-Hasakah city.
Speaking to SOHR, the owner of a foodstuff store in Al-Salihiya neighbourhood known by his initials as A. D. says, “the phenomenon of proliferation of arms among civilians triggers panic. The area have witnessed thefts and hijacking of vehicles from civilians, so some civilians possess weapons to protect themselves, while some others open fire indiscriminately to celebrate family and social occasions. This poses a threat to the safety and lives of civilians, especially children and women, and trigger panic. Parents and elderly people have to raise awareness of their children about the risks of indiscriminate gunfire and prevent them from possessing weapons.”
On the other hand, a woman known by her initials as Z. F. from Al-Mufti neighbourhood has told SOHR, “incidents of celebratory live gunfire are seen every day. Sometimes, my children could not sleep or study because of the state of panic which this phenomenon triggers. I call upon relevant authorities to put an end to this phenomenon and prevent civilians from using weapons, because it negatively impacts the future of the area and poses a threat to the lives and safety of civilians.”
The phenomenon of proliferation of arms among civilians is a serious by-product of the war in Syria, while several factors have contributed to the prevalence of this phenomenon throughout the Syrian geography, such as the absence of law power and prevalence of gun stores.