On Monday, 89 different humanitarian and aid organizations working in Syria condemned Turkey for cutting off water at the Alouk Water Station in the Sere Kaniye countryside, which has deprived hundreds of thousands of people of clean drinking water amidst a global pandemic.
The statement adds that, “sporadic water cuts forced the population of Syria’s northeast to rely on unsafe alternatives, endangering their lives on top of their fight against COVID-19,” which has infected 362 people and killed 25 in northeastern Syria so far, according to the latest statistics from the Health Board of the Autonomous Administration.
“Suspending the Alouk Water Station puts the lives of hundreds of thousands of people at risk, since washing hands with water and soap is essential to protect themselves against the pandemic,” the statement read.
The statement also denied Turkish and Turkish-backed opposition claims that the power to the station was shut off by those controlling the Tishrin Dam, adding that the power station does not supply energy to Alouk and that the station has plenty of alternatives for energy.
“Signatories of this statement condemn the repeated suspensions of the Alouk Water Station by Turkey and associated local councils, who continue to use it as blackmail,” the statement continued. “We also would like to recall that this deliberate denial of water to the population is a flagrant violation of their basic right to access clean water and according to international humanitarian law, it also constitutes a war crime.”
The signatories ended their statement by calling on the UN, WHO, EU, Red Cross, and the US government to hire an independent and specialized management team to run the station and hold those responsible for the water shutoff accountable.
This article was 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.