The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Monday that the cutting off of water in Aleppo city by terrorists is a form of collective punishment to locals who rejected the terrorist groups.
In two letters sent to the U.N. Secretary General and U.N. Security Council President, the Ministry said that terrorists have been punishing, for nine days, three million people because they renounced the crimes committed by the terrorists, adding that this act is yet another crime committed by the terrorist groups against the city's civilians.
The Foreign Ministry added the terrorists have prevented the pumping of water through Suleiman al-Halabi station, which is the main source of drinking water in Aleppo, causing water to be cut off to the whole city for nine consecutive days. The move has sent water to the Quiq River, wasting it and preventing citizens' access to clean water.
The ministry confirmed that the situation has created a dilemma for civilians who were forced to obtain it from the available resources including rivers and other water not safe for drinking. It said this water is dangerous and warned about the spread of epidemics among the residents.
"The Syrian government and the city's authorities are exerting huge efforts to compensate civilians needs for water with all available means and through urgent solutions," the ministry said.
It said preventing water from reaching Aleppo civilians is a form of collective punishment that is added to crimes perpetrated by the armed groups against residents of the city. It said these crimes have targeted civilians for months, whether through mortar shells or random rocket fire, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians, cutting supply roads into the city to prevent food and medicine from being delivered to the city and cutting water and electricity from the whole city.
"Those crimes, including collective punishment and acts of killing, abduction and torture, are being carried out under the watch of the U.N. and through a direct support by countries involved in the Syrian bloodshed without issuing any clear condemnation or a serious endeavor to put an end to those crimes and violations," the letters said.
The Foreign Ministry went on to say that some international countries' ignore responsibility for the rise of terrorism in affecting humanitarian needs and are dealing with the humanitarian situation in Syria in a selective and politicized way. This goes against all principles of fairness or unbiased support and encourages the armed terrorist groups to continue their crimes, under a direct support and political cover they receive.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer