Turkey reduced the flow of water from the Euphrates River into northeast Syria’s dam for the second week in a row, depriving hundreds of civilians access to water that is used to generate electricity and irrigate crops.
The shortage of water in the Euphrates dam, the country’s largest, has decreased the amount of electric energy needed to provide food for dozens of cities in the north.
Farmers have complained that the reduction could threaten the production of summer crops, such as cotton, which Kurdish authorities say could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe, Al Arabiya reported.
Nearly 20 water pumps have stopped working in the past week, the head of the dam operations Sherwan Shado told Al Arabiya.
“We are about to lose all of the generated energy produced by the plant. The loss of generated energy leads to major problems in society, including industrial and agricultural problems,” he said.
Human Rights Watch in March urged Turkey to refrain from cutting off adequate water supplies to Kurdish-held areas in northeast Syria.
The shortage of water would disrupt humanitarian agencies’ ability to protect vulnerable civilians from the coronavirus outbreak, the organization warned.
Turkey launched a military operation in northwest Syria in 2019 and has continued to send Syrian mercenaries to support the Government of National Accord in Libya in its battle for control against the Libyan National Army.