Syria has condemned in the strongest terms the Turkish military forces’ “systematic policy” of depriving more than one million people in the country’s northeastern province of Hasakah of drinking water by cutting off the supply to the population.
“Turkish forces, as part of a systematic and deliberate policy, have repeatedly cut off the supply of Alouk water station, which is the main source that feeds over 1 million people in Hasakah city and residential neighborhoods around it,” the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates wrote in two identical letters addressed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the UN Security Council Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
The Syrian ministry urged the UN Security Council and the UN chief to intervene immediately and exert pressure on the Turkish government to “put an end to its violations” and deployment of military forces to areas in northern Syria.
“It is crystal clear that the Turkish government exercises such illegal and inhuman practices for the sake of its own political and military objectives, among them the policy of systematic displacement of Syrians in the areas it controls in order to make substantial changes to their demographic map,” the letter read.
Syria has frequently condemned Turkey for using water as a weapon of war against ordinary people in Hasakah province, saying such a practice amounts to a “crime against humanity.”
On October 9, 2019, Turkey launched a cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in an attempt to push Kurdish militants affiliated with the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) — which Ankara views as a terror outfit — away from its borders.
Two weeks later, Russia and Turkey, signed a memorandum of understanding that forced YPG militants to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, after which Ankara and Moscow began joint patrols around the area.
Turkey has since wrested control of several areas in the northern countryside of Hasakah — where the Alouk water station is located — in addition to other Kurdish-controlled areas.
Damascus views the Turkish military presence on Syrian soil as an attack on the Arab country’s sovereignty, calling on Ankara to withdraw its forces.