Turkish strikes deprive residents of water in Syria’s Qamishli

BY Nalin Ali / Dilsoz Youssef

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Turkish shelling on northeastern Syria resulted in the destruction of infrastructure, including water facilities. This made Ali Abdullah recall what happened about 50 years ago.

About 50 years ago, people used to draw water from wells using buckets. That is happening now due to the Turkish attacks on infrastructure in northeastern Syria.

Since Oct. 5 and until Monday, 172 sites in areas and cities in north and northeast Syria have been stuck by Turkish airstrikes, shells, and drone attacks, targeting residential areas, military posts and infrastructure, including oil fields, gas plants, power stations, and others, according to the Monitoring and Documentation Department of North Press.

The strikes took place following a statement by Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hakan Fidan, in which he threatened to strike a broader range of targets in Syria and Iraq in retaliation for the Ankara attack.

On Oct. 1, two individuals carried out a bomb attack in front of the building of the Ministry of Interior in Turkey’s Ankara injuring two police officers.

On Oct. 4, Fidan claimed that the two attackers had been trained in Syria. “From now on, all infrastructure, large facilities and energy facilities belonging to (armed Kurdish groups) in Iraq and Syria are legitimate targets for our security forces,” he threatened.

“The water situation was good in the city before the Turkish attacks”, Abdullah, 65, from Halko neighborhood in Qamishli, told North Press. 

However, Abdullah has to draw water from his old well in his house yard, not to mention the additional costs of buying water.

“For a week, we have been experiencing water shortages in the city following the Turkish attacks, causing power and water outages”, Abdullah added.

“We cannot afford the costs of buying water, and the only option is drawing water from the well.”

Like many others, Abdulaziz Talaa, 43, from Kornish neighborhood in Qamishli, has to buy water.

“I pay 30,000 Syrian pounds (SYP) for each water tanker, and sometimes we cannot afford to buy it”, Talaa told North Press.

“The Turkish attacks and their targeting of energy sites have greatly affected us. Water and electricity were good, but those attacks have brought back our suffering once again”, he added.

“After the recent Turkish attacks on northeastern Syria, especially targeting the region’s infrastructure and damaging energy facilities and all power generation stations, that has also affected Qamishli’s water stations”, Wassel Asaad, Co-chair of Water Department in Qamishli, affiliated to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), told North Press. 

“We currently rely on diesel generators to supply water to Qamishli neighborhoods. That has led us to declare a state of emergency in the city”, he added.

“Four tankers have been allocated to distribute water to Qamishli neighborhoods free of charge. The attacks caused significant damages and material losses to electricity institutions and power generation stations”.

“Currently, we rely on diesel generators to supply electricity and stations, but we face a difficulty because we cannot keep the generators running 24 hours a day”, according to the official.

He pointed out that production capacity has decreased by 50%.