It is being confirmed that Turkey has been systematically taking control over the natural resources in Syria to increase its control of the oil rich nation. Amidst the fight against the corona virus, two Syrian officials of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) along with the autonomous administration have declared Turkey’s control of the water resources of the Euphrates River as a blatant theft.
According to statistics, Turkey already controls 40percent of the river’s supply with Syria holding only 19percent of its waters. For the Syrian people, the river is the lifeblood for civil life and its sustenance.
By building dams and stopping access to the waters, Turkey seems to be waging a different kind of war against northeastern Syria. Before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world, Turkey was focused in controlling the Syrian land, at any cost. The decreased flow of water would make the lives of more than 500,000 Syrians in Ain Al-Ras difficult to sustain.
Confirmed media reports suggest that Turkey now controls the flow of water to Syria. The flow of the Euphrates River to Syria in the city of Jarabulus has been reduced to 319 m3/s, according to the statistics of the Energy Authority of the autonomous administration. Last April, the flow exceeded 1000 m3/s at the same point. This has led to reduced levels of electricity to North and Eastern Syrian regions.
With water levels being declined by up to two-thirds, with Syrian farmers in Qara Qawzaq — just outside Kobane — warning that their livelihood will be seriously hit by the shortages. This kind of tactic to control the flow of water by Turkey is also hampering the working of 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.
According to the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) President Ilhan Ahmed, Turkey is trying to create pressure on the Syrian civilians by controlling the supply of water. While Turkey is said to have use water as weapon of control since 2015, it was warned by the UNICEF not to indulge in this kind of cheap economic war, at a time the population needs water to maintain good sanitization and hygiene measures.
The UNICEF official statement confirms that “the interruption of water supply during the current efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus puts children and families at unacceptable risk.” Like Yemen, Syria’s future is also bleak and hangs by lose threads of hope that comes through humanitarian and human rights intervention only.
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