Euphrates river crisis | Turkish government keep seizing Syria’s share of water, despite appeals and international compact
The Turks keep retaining Syria’s share of water behind their dams, disregarding international compact between the two countries and all appeals to release Syria’s water. Meanwhile, power generation turbines have been suspended and irrigation canals are out of service.
We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, repeatedly warn against a looming disaster threatening lives and livelihood of more than three million Syrians, who depend on the river for drinking, electricity and irrigation.
On May 30, Syrian Observatory activists monitored new low level of Euphrates river water, despite the statements by Turkish government regarding the start of opening dams and releasing Syria’s share of water. However, Turkey returned to close the dams, which resulted in alarming decrease of water lever in the river. Meanwhile, power generation turbines stopped functioning, amid growing popular anger in the Syrian Jazeera region over Turkish seizure of Euphrates river water.
While on May 15, Turkish government continued to close its dams, retaining the water of Euphrates river, despite the repeated calls for the release of Syria’s share of the water in the river. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activists reported continuous decline in the level of the Euphrates river’s water, along with the stopping of the irrigation and power generation turbines, as the continuous decrease in the water level at the Euphrates Dam led to the receding of water in the governorates of al-Raqqah and Deir Ezzor, in addition to the patrs that flow through the Iraqi territory.
Similarly, on May 9, SOHR activists in the Syrian Jazeera reported that a large number of irrigation stations were put out of service due to the continuous decrease in the water level of the Euphrates River, after Turkey retained Syria’s share of the Euphrates’s water, amid growing popular dissatisfaction in the Jazeera region. Meanwhile, many power generation turbines have been ceased in al-Tabqah dam, due to the drop in water level, as well as the drying up of parts of it in several areas.