International powers should intervene to stop Turkey’s seizure of Euphrates: Kobani’s AANES

KOBANI, Syria (North Press) – Mustafa Ito, the co-chair of Kobani Region Council, in northern Syria, appealed to the international powers to intervene to solve the problem of Turkey’s seizure of the Euphrates River from northeast country. 

In an exclusive statement to North Press, he criticized the international silence towards Turkey’s seizure of water from the region, because this is taking place in front of everyone’s eyes, such as Russia, the Global Coalition, the United Nations and other world powers.

Officials of the Autonomous Administration consider that Russia and the Global Coalition should pressure Turkey to at least, force it to adhere to the international agreements it signed with the Syrian and Iraqi states.

Ito added that the Turkish state is seizing water to achieve political goals against the experience of the Democratic Autonomous Administration, including restricting the living conditions of the residents of northeast Syria. 

According to the Syrian-Turkish agreement, 500 m³ of water per second must flow to the Syria, but the amount that currently reaches is between 150 and 170 m³ per second only.

Seizing water to this extent causes water pollution, which threatens the lives of civilians in the area, and it is a humanitarian crime as it causes life difficulties in terms of humanitarian and economic terms for the residents of the region, according to Ito.

He referred to the big losses suffered by farmers along the course of the Euphrates River due to the damage to the agricultural lands and fields.

He described the matter as destroying the economic situation of the population, which in itself is a crime.

He also criticized the stance of the Syrian government, which did not submit any complaint to the UN and remained silent.

The official appealed to international and human rights institutions to pressure the Turkish state, because there is a humanitarian disaster awaiting the region.

Since February, Turkey has limited the flow of the Euphrates into Syria, depriving large numbers of people of usable water. Turkey reduced the flow of water from the Euphrates River into northeast Syria’s dam gradually, reducing the amount of water received to unprecedented lows.

Turkey keeps water in six dams, the largest of which is Ataturk Dam, the second largest in the Middle East, with a storage capacity of 48 billion m³, violating the international agreement they signed with Syria in 1987 which stated that Syria’s share of water coming from Turkey is 500 m³ per second.

The water flow to the Euphrates River is between 150 m³ and 170 m³ according to the General Administration of Dams in Northeastern Syria.

Reporting by Fattah Issa