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Syria villagers along Euphrates accuse Turkey of cutting water access

Turkish military vehicles and personnel seen at the Turkey-Syria border during Operation Euphrates Shield on September 3, 2016 [File photo]
Turkish military vehicles and personnel seen at the Turkey-Syria border during Operation Euphrates Shield on September 3, 2016 [File photo]

Kurdish authorities fear a humanitarian disaster in northern Syria where Turkey is accused of deliberately inducing a drought by cutting off water from the Euphrates River, the Morning Star reports.

According to report, in the self-proclaimed autonomous Kurdish region, controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), villagers are accusing Turkish authorities of damming the river to monopolise on the precious resource.

Rojava Dam spokesperson, Jihad Bayram, explained that Turkey and its allied militia had cut the supply of water to the region by decreasing the flow through its own dam system.

“Turkey has cut off the Euphrates today,” said the author of a video shot on 29 June near Raqqa that has been widely shared since early July.

“We walk and we walk, towards the void. The water is cut off for all Syrians. This is what remains of the Euphrates,” he said, showing images of empty plains.

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According to engineer and environmental activist Ercan Ayboga, Turkey is pursuing a very aggressive policy towards the autonomous territories in northeastern Syria.

“It is an area that escapes Turkish control and that hampers its regional influence over Syria. In the region, I had never seen a State so severely deprive people of water. This is a violation of international law, but since no entity oppposes it, the Turkish government acts freely,” he said.

The United Nations says that the growing water scarcity is a primary driver for insecurity, instability and conflicts and is currently setting the stage for future water wars — unless global action is taken.

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyriaTurkey
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