HASAKAH, Syria (North Press) - Turkey and its affiliated Syrian opposition armed groups have cut off water from the Alouk reservoir that supplies water to areas in northeastern Syria’s Hasakah province that are controlled by the Kurdish-led local government, officials and local sources said on Sunday.
"Turkey stopped the work of water station after a Turkish official visited it on Saturday," Souzdar Ahmed, co-manager of water directorate in Hasakah told North Press.
Ahmed added that the station crew could not reach it because Turkish forces prevented them.
Ahmad said the Autonomous Administration informed the Russian troops about the water cut.
The Russian response was they held talks with Turkey without any results so far, Ahmad added.
Ahmed further clarified that since Turkey and its backed opposition groups have taken control over the station in October, they intentionally cut water several times to make the area suffer from water shortage.
The Alouk water station is near the border town of Ras al-Ain (Serekaniye), which Turkey and its militant proxies took over in October during Turkey’s so-called Peace Spring Operation.
Under Russian mediation, though, Kurdish-led authorities in northeastern Syria have been providing electricity to the Turkish-occupied areas in exchange for water flow, but Turkish-backed groups have continued to repeatedly cut off water, demanding higher levels of power.
On March 23, UNICEF Representative in Syria Fran Equiza said the interruption “during the current efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease puts children and families at unacceptable risk.”
On March 27, 49 Syrian civil society and human rights organizations also condemned the water interruption in a jointly signed statement.
“This intentional denial of water that the residents of these areas are suffering is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and is a war crime,” the statement read.
The organizations called on UN agencies, as well as the United States and the European Union, to “pressure the Turkish Government to allow the provision of water to deprived areas.”
The United States also accused Turkey of weaponizing water against civilians and displaced.
(Reporting by Delsouz Yousef; Editing by Hisham Arafat)