Turkey kicks off water war against Syria

Turkey kicks off water war against Syria
Sun Jun 8, 2014 09:20:01

The Turkish government’s decision to cut off the flow of the Euphrates River has caused a severe water shortage in Syria, dropping water level in Lake Assad by about six meters, leaving millions of Syrians without drinking water.

Violating international norms, the Turkish government recently cut off the water supply of the Euphrates River completely. In fact, Ankara began to gradually reduce pumping Euphrates water about a month-and-a-half ago, then cut it off completely two weeks ago, the Center for Research on Globalization reported on Saturday.

A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that water levels in the Lake Assad (a man-made water reservoir on the Euphrates) recently dropped by six meters from its normal levels (which means losing millions of cubic meters of water). The source warned that “a further drop of one additional meter would put the dam out of service.”

The so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group, which is controlling the region where the dam is located, did not suspend the water output. Employees of the General Institution of the Euphrates Dam are running the lake under the supervision of al-Qaeda linked ISIL, but they don’t have the authority to take serious decisions, such as reducing the water output.

The tragic repercussions of the new Turkish assault began to reveal themselves when water levels dropped in al-Khafsa in Aleppo’s eastern area (where a water pumping station from Lake Assad is located to pump water through water channels to Aleppo and its countryside).

Meanwhile, water supplies in auxiliary reservoirs in al-Khafsa are close to being depleted and the reservoirs are expected to run out of water completely. This threatens to leave seven million Syrians without access to water.

Also, Tishrin Dam stopped receiving any water which blocked its electricity generating turbines, decreasing the power supply in Aleppo and its countryside, further intensifying the already severe imbalance in the power supply.

Meanwhile in Raqqa, the northern side of Lake Assad is completely out of service. Two million Syrians living in the region covering the villages of Little Swaydiya to the east until al-Jarniya to the west could lose their drinking water supply.

“Losing water supplies in the dam means that the silt in the lake will dry off which would pressure its structure, subjecting it to fissures and eventually total collapse,” Al-Akhbar sources warned, adding “it is crucial to shut down the dam to stop its collapse.”

According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Aleppo locals (who had already launched many initiatives to reach solutions for a number of local issues) began a race against time to recommend solutions for the problem, including putting the thermal plant at al-Safira back to work, which may convince ISIL to spare the Euphrates Dam turbines, and in turn preserve current water levels in the lake.


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