TEL TAMR, Syria (North Press) – A source from water directorate of the Autonomous Administration in Hasakah said that Turkish forces demanded the Syrian Government to remove the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from Hasakah in order to re-pump water to Alouk station.
A Syrian Government delegation and the Syrian Red Cross International committee held a meeting with the Autonomous Administration’s Water Directorate in Hasakah city on Turkey's interruption of water from Alouk station in Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) on Thursday.
A source from the Water Directorate who attended the meeting, told North Press that the delegation said that Turkey's condition to re-pump water to Alouk station permanently is the removal of the SDF from Hasakah.
According to the source, Red Cross representatives hinted at the probability of sending their staff to Alouk station in an attempt to prevent the water cutoff, which would make it a humanitarian issue. However, they did not ensure that.
Under Russian mediation, though, Kurdish-led authorities in northeastern Syria have been providing electricity to Turkish-occupied areas in exchange for water, but Turkish-backed groups have continued to repeatedly cut off the water and demand higher levels of power.
The Water Directorate declared a state of emergency on Thursday to assist residents in securing water due to Turkish forces’ repeated interruption of the work of Alouk water station in Sere Kaniye.
The frequent interruption of water from the station during the last week, caused a water shortage in Hasakah city and its countryside amid high temperatures.
A Turkish official controls the water
The administrative in the Water Directorate of Tel Tamr in the north of Hasakah, Khaled Hami, said that “the repeated water interruption depends on the mood of a Turkish general who is responsible for Alouk station. He releases water whenever he wants without taking into consideration the suffering of a million and two hundred thousand residents of Hasakah city and its countryside.
He added that the pumping is currently done from only three out of eight turbines at the station.
The restart of water last Friday is not a guarantee of its continuity. We have been drawing water from fountains in the area for a week, while residents are thirsty amid an international silence towards these policies,” the administrator explained.
Earlier, in April, Human Rights Watch said that Turkish authorities' failure to ensure sufficient water supplies to northeastern Syria harms the ability of humanitarian organizations to empower weak communities and protect them against coronavirus.
Turkey and its affiliated groups took control over Alouk water station in October during Turkey’s so-called Peace Spring Operation, and stopped water flow from Alouk station to Hasakah and its countryside repeatedly, the last of which was last week.
(Reporting by Delsoz Youssef, editing by Lucas Chapman)