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Syria Today – Water Shortage Suweida; U.S. Sends Submarine to Eastern Mediterranean

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.

Residents in the southern Syrian province of Suweida are facing significant water shortages, and the authorities have not taken any steps to address the issue. Concurrently, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. military has deployed ships and a submarine to the eastern Mediterranean.

Suweida locals reeling under worsening water shortage as authorities fail to find solution

Locals in the southern Syrian province of Suweida say they are grappling with severe water shortages with authorities making no attempts to remedy the situation, New Arab reported.

Visits by residents to the provincial governor and pressure on the company in charge of drinking water and sanitation have yielded no results, according to reports.

Initiatives sponsored by international organizations have recently taken place in an attempt to support relief work and to address Suweida’s water crisis but with no long-term fix.

“The wells that were repaired in some villages, such as the Tima 2 well and the Duma well (both to the northeast of Daraa), which feed four villages, did not continue to work for more than ten days after the pumps were installed,” activist Ali Al-Hussein told The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Al-Hussein, who suspects foul play, said: “[The Al-Tima 2 well] suddenly broke down before it could irrigate the village, which has been suffering from thirst for more than a month and a half,”

“Why aren’t realistic, original solutions developed to address the current situation, instead of just fixing the faults in a way that only enriches those carrying out the repairs?” he asked.

A source at the General Corporation for Drinking Water and Sanitation told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “most of the work is carried out through the assistance of international organizations, as the corporation’s financial deficit has exceeded 16 billion Syrian pounds (about $1,230,000)”.

Corruption has allegedly hindered efforts to fix the problem, adding that the oversight and inspection department has for years slept on corruption cases linked to directors, senior employees in Damascus, contractors, and owners of repair shops.

Sheikh Marwan Al-Moaz – one of the activists involved in demonstrations in Suweida that have continued since summer – told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that young men in the protest movement were able to secure water for residents of the village of Al-Qrayya, south of Suweida city, by fixing pumps.

U.S. dispatches ships, and submarines into the Mideast

The US military sent ships and a submarine into the Middle East, the Pentagon said Monday, according to North Press.

The movements are designed to “further support our deterrence efforts in the region,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.

On Oct. 3rd, the US Department of Defense took the rare step of announcing it had deployed an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine to the region.

These movements came within several measures by the US to address the overall security challenges and ensure force protection for US troops in the region.

On Oct. 4th, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) posted photos of the Eisenhower group arriving in the Middle East, and announced the deployment of a bomber task force over the region.

Al-Monitor said that the Pentagon has dispatched an Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine to the Middle Eastern waters, as Washington seeks to prevent Iran and its proxies from piling on Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip.

Scientists Uncover Mysterious Cosmic Gift That Sparked Agricultural Revolution in Ancient Syria

Around 12,800 years ago, a comet impact is believed to have played a pivotal role in the transition to agriculture in the Abu Hureyra settlement in Syria. A group of international scientists has proposed this theory as part of their investigation into the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, which suggests that an unusual cooling of the Earth during that time was triggered by a cosmic impact event. Prior to the impact, the region experienced more humid conditions with diverse food sources suitable for hunter-gatherers. However, following the cataclysmic event and subsequent environmental changes, the inhabitants of Abu Hureyra were compelled to adopt agricultural practices for survival.

The archaeological record from Abu Hureyra, which now lies submerged under Lake Assad due to the construction of the Taqba Dam, provides valuable insights. Analysis of the material extracted before the flooding revealed a continuous record of seeds, legumes, and other foods left by the village occupants. This record allowed scientists to discern changes in the types of plants collected, indicating shifts in diet and agricultural practices.

Before the comet impact, the inhabitants’ diet consisted of wild legumes, wild-type grains, and some wild fruits and berries. However, as the climate became drier and cooler in the aftermath of the impact, fruits and berries disappeared from their diet, and there was a transition to domestic-type grains and lentils as people experimented with early cultivation methods. Over time, the region witnessed the cultivation of various crops, including emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, hulled barley, rye, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chickpeas, and flax, all marking the development of agriculture in what is now known as the Fertile Crescent.

Additionally, the impact event led to a significant decline in the population of the region, and architectural changes in the settlement reflected a shift toward agrarian life, including the initial domestication of livestock.

While agriculture eventually emerged in various parts of the world during the Neolithic Era, it is suggested that it began first in the Levant (encompassing present-day Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, and parts of Turkey) due to the severe climate changes following the cosmic impact.

The magnitude of the impact is underscored by evidence of massive burning in the archaeological record. A layer known as the “black mat” contains high concentrations of platinum, nanodiamonds, and tiny metallic spherules, all indicative of extremely high temperatures. These conditions could not have been produced by human technology at the time and likely resulted from the airburst generated by the comet impact. This airburst had devastating effects, flattening trees, and straw huts, and splashing meltglass onto cereals, grains, buildings, tools, animal bones, and possibly even people.

Moreover, this cosmic airburst event is not an isolated occurrence. Similar evidence of cosmic airbursts has been found at approximately 50 other sites across North and South America and Europe, forming what is known as the Younger Dryas strewnfield. This widespread evidence points to a simultaneous destructive event consistent with a fragmented comet impact. It is associated with the extinction of various large animals, including mammoths and sabre-toothed cats, as well as the collapse of the North American Clovis culture.

The impact did not leave visible craters on the ground, but this is not unusual for cosmic impacts. Many accepted impact events lack visible craters. Instead, the scientists focus on evidence such as shocked quartz, which is a robust indicator of cosmic impacts. The microscopic deformations within quartz sand grains found at impact sites are the result of high-pressure events, similar to those produced by cosmic-level explosions. By comparing the shock fractures in quartz grains from nuclear tests to those found in the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) sites, researchers found significant similarities, confirming the lower-pressure cosmic events.

As winter approaches in Syria, people in camps burn shoes for warmth

In northwest Syria, where approximately two million people are living in overcrowded camps due to the 12-year-long conflict, the approaching winter poses significant challenges, according to Doctors Without Borders.

The camps lack essential infrastructure, including roads, electricity, running water, and proper shelter. Living conditions have worsened since recent earthquakes and a surge in violence that displaced an additional 40,000 people.

With temperatures dropping as low as 5 degrees Celsius and limited aid funding, many residents are ill-equipped to cope with the harsh winter conditions. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have identified over 4,400 households in need of basic winter protection, including thermal insulation, blankets, and fuel for heating.

The shortage of adequate shelter and heating options increases the vulnerability of camp residents, especially children and the elderly, to cold-related diseases and health risks. MSF is providing winter kits to some families but acknowledges the challenges in meeting the growing needs of the displaced population.

Polish soldier shoots Syrian refugee after ‘tripping’

A Syrian man has been shot near the border with Belarus after a Polish soldier allegedly “tripped”.

Announcing that military police were investigating, Radoslaw Wiszenko, deputy for military affairs of the Bialystok-Polnoc District prosecutor told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) on Sunday the “unfortunate accident” resulted from a “solider tripping”.

The reported asylum-seeker was taken to a hospital in Hajnówka, a town in northeast Poland near the Belarusian border.

Separately, the body of another man – again reported to be from Syria – was discovered nearby. There is no sign the two incidents are connected.

On Monday, the NGO Grupa Granica (Border Group) – which aids refugees and migrants in Poland – said it was supporting the 22-year-old Syrian man in hospital, providing him with legal and psychological assistance.

He is reportedly in a stable condition, awaiting surgery, but at risk of paralysis.

Grupa Granica says the man was shot in the back after crossing a few kilometres into Poland with a group of other Syrians.

“He heard one single, incomprehensible scream coming from behind him, followed immediately by a shot, knocking him to the ground,” they wrote on Facebook.

The man reportedly heard three more gunshots after collapsing.

“At the time of the incident it was light, well before sunset, so the soldiers must have seen them clearly,” wrote Grupa Granica.

Syrian government attempting to destabilize Deir-ez-Zor: SDF

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Monday accused Syrian-government-backed militants of attempting to infiltrate SDF areas on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir-ez-Zor.

“The Syrian regime forces, along with their Iranian militias stationed on the western bank, launched a mortar shell attack on civilian homes in the village of Hawayij Dhiban today,” the SDF media center said.

“This resulted in the martyrdom of the child Abdulraouf Ubaid Al-Khalaf and caused significant damage to the properties of civilians.”

The SDF said that “despite the Syrian regime and its mercenaries’ attempts to destabilize our regions, our SDF forces remain steadfast in defending against them, ensuring the security and stability of our areas.”

In late August and September, heavy clashes broke out between local gunmen in Deir-ez-Zor and the SDF after the SDF dismissed Abu Khawla, the head of the Deir-ez-Zor Military Council.

Since then so-called tribal forces led by the Akeidat tribe’s local leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Hifl and tribal fighters have continued attacks across the river from Syrian-government-held areas on SDF forces. His supporters have denied links to Damascus.

The SDF has arrested several suspects in recent days suspected to have links to the gunmen.

The Washington Institute’s expert Abdullah Hayek wrote that the attacks are backed by “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Assad regime” in the name of “The Sons of Jazeera and Euphrates (Furat) Movement.”

“The movement’s objective is to reestablish tribal Arab governance, supported by the Syrian regime, across east Syria, with a specific focus on Deir al-Zour province,” he wrote.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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