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Russia and Turkey armies strike deal to swap water for electricity

December 9, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Electricity pylons and power transmission lines [Reuters]

The Russian and Turkish armies have reportedly brokered a deal between themselves to swap or trade water for electricity in areas of northern Syria.

According to the deal, the Tishrin Dam under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will supply electricity and energy to the town of Tal Abyad and its surrounding countryside, while the Turkish-controlled Alouk water station will supply water to the SDF-controlled areas of Al-Darbasiyah and Al-Hasakah.

The SDF, being allied to the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad, is essentially allied to Russia due to Moscow’s support for Damascus.

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As a result of the deal on Saturday the Turkish Defence Ministry said its military had restored electricity and power to the Tal Abyad area following a meeting with Russian military officials in the town on Ain Issa.

The Alouk water reservoir, on which around 460,000 residents in Hasakah are dependent on, was initially damaged in October during Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring conducted in north-east Syria to clear the Syrian-Turkish border of Kurdish militias and to establish a safe zone for Syrian refugees. As the Turkish Defence Ministry said in its statement, however, “necessary measures were taken to ensure its full operational capacity.”

While it was being repaired, the Turkish-controlled areas were reportedly lacking in electricity and energy supplies for several weeks before maintenance works were conducted last month.

“In this respect, electricity was provided to the Tal Abyad countryside, and works are ongoing to provide it to Tal Abyad’s centre and the region,” the Turkish Defence Ministry added in its statement.

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