QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Turkey has been accused of waging an economic war on northeastern Syria, using water cutoff as a weapon and exploiting difficult living circumstances to incite the region's population against the Autonomous Administration.
Two officials in the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) and the Autonomous Administration consider Turkey's control of the water resources of the Euphrates River a theft that comes in the context of a different kind of war against northeastern Syria.
Jawaher Othman, a member of the SDC’s Organization Office, said in an interview with North Press that "Turkey's shutoff of water to Autonomous Administration areas is a continuation of its economic war to break the credibility of the Autonomous Administration and its ability to manage the region’s affairs.”
Osman claimed that Turkey is waging an immoral war on the region in several aspects, especially cutting water and reducing the flow of the Euphrates River water to dams, aiming to exhaust the population's endurance. Turkey is exploiting difficult living situation under the embargo and the imminent implementation of the Caesar Act to create fertile ground for fighting the Autonomous Administration project, according to Osman.
The flow of the Euphrates River to Syria in the city of Jarabulus reached 319 m3/s, according to the statistics of the Energy Authority in the Autonomous Administration on Sunday, while the flow at the beginning of last April exceeded 1000 m3/s at the same point, which affects the hours of operation of the turbines in the dams (Tishreen, Euphrates, and al-Hurria), where the Energy Authority increased the hours of electricity rationing in all regions of North and East Syria last week.
Turkey recently suspended the work of Alouk Water Station, which it had controlled since last October.
Michael Page, deputy director in the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch, said: “In the midst of a global pandemic that is overloading sophisticated governance and infrastructure systems, Turkish authorities have been cutting off the water supply to regions most under strain in Syria."
“Turkish authorities should do everything they can to immediately resume supply to these communities.”
Othman called on the various Syrian political parties, particularly those close to the SDC, to form a broad front in order to confront Turkey's policies that target the lives and livelihoods of the people in northeastern Syria.
Anwar al-Mushrif, a consultant in the Autonomous Administration, said Turkey had reduced the Syrian share of the flow of the Euphrates water and that this violation is considered an international theft.
He added Turkey's reduction of water flow has led to a decrease in the water level in the Euphrates Lake, which operates the turbines of the Euphrates Dam, the largest hydroelectric station in northeastern Syria, which caused an increase in hours of power outages in all areas of the Autonomous Administration.
The consultant blamed the United Nations for the move to stop what he described as Turkey's theft of Syria's share of the waters of the Euphrates River, noting that this contradicts international agreements on international river water.