Residents of a village in the countryside of the Raqqa province in northeast Syria have said that oil pollution has contaminated their supply of drinking water, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday.
Last week, the residents of al-Asadiyah – a village in the outskirts of the city of Raqqa – allegedly addressed several complaints to the Raqqa Civil Council, the body governing the area, saying their spring has been contaminated by fuel.
This was not the first time local residents flagged water pollution issues in the Raqqa province.
Oil pollution has been a growing concern in Syria since the onset of the civil war in 2011 due to damage to oil infrastructure and armed fighting over the oil fields.
A large storage facility in the Rmeilan oil field in the Hassakeh province has been of particular concern for years.
Oil leaks from the Gir Zero storage facility have been suspected since at least 2014, the Dutch NGO PAX warned in 2020, saying thousands of barrels have leaked out into creeks in the area, threatening the health and livelihoods of people.
Dozens of informal oil refineries have also sprouted over the years across the northeast of Syria, generally operating with minimal supervision and posing serious risks to the surrounding environment.
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