Al-Jaafari urges UN Chief to immediately act to end the catastrophe in Hasaka resulted from cutting water supplies by Turkish occupation

NEW YORK, (ST)- Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Bashar Al-Jaafari, has urged the UN Chief Antonio Guterres to act immediately in order to put an end to the Turkish occupation's  crime of cutting off water supplies for more than a million Syrian citizens in and around Hasaka city.

In a phone call yesterday, al-Jaafari informed Guterres about the catastrophic situation in the Syrian city of Hasaka and its vicinity after the Turkish occupation cut off potable water, reiterating that this aggressive behavior is a war crime and a crime against humanity.

The Turkish occupation has been cutting off water supplies for the citizens in Hasaka and its suburbs for ten consecutive days, causing a deplorable situation and endangering the lives of more than a million civilians.

Al-Jaaari said that the Turkish occupation forces use water as a weapon against civilians and deprive more than a million citizens in Hasaka and its suburbs from potable water through  deliberately and repeatedly cutting off water from Allouk station and the wells that irrigate these areas more than 15 times and for many days, in a bid to punish the people of Hasaka for supporting the Syrian government and rejecting the Turkish occupation.

 This Turkish regime's crime caused a catastrophe in Hasaka in the light of the hot weather and under the Coronavirus pandemic crisis, said al-Jaafari, reminding Guterres of the formal letters addressing the UN and the Security Council in this regard , including the complaint dated May 31, 2020 and Syria’s statements at the Security Council on this issue, the latest of which was made on August 19.

Al-Jaafari said that Syria is waiting for a quick response by the UN General Secretariat to these letters.

Guterres, on his part, said that he is aware of the situation in Hasaka and that he has tasked the UN team in Syria as well as the UN Chief's Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen with taking necessary measures to resolve this critical situation as soon as possible and to deliver humanitarian aid to affected people until Allouk station works again.

 He said he can imagine the situation in the light of the hot weather and the absence of potable water.

The UN chief affirmed that this situation must be resolved soon and that he will contact the Turkish government and other parties to resolve this problem as soon as possible, noting that he will task Pedersen with discussing this issue during his meeting with representatives of the US, Russia, and Turkey in Geneva on Monday on the sideline of the meetings of the constitutional committee on Syria.

In order to alleviate, as much as possible, the suffering of the citizens of Hasaka, the Syrian government in cooperation with the local community in Hasaka has intensified efforts to ensure a number of water tankers to provide drinking water to the locals.

In a statement to SANA, Chairman of Hasaka City Council Adnan Khajou said that the tankers have delivered water to citizens from the Nafasha and al-Himmeh water projects, pointing out that 300,000 liters of potable water are set to be delivered on a daily basis, while the water for households use is being secured through shallow wells dug by the locals in the streets.

Meantime, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) said that cutting off water supplies by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries for Hasaka citizens violates the Humanitarian International Law as it causes a dangerous humanitarian situation that threatens the lives of more than one million civilians.

In a statement on Friday, SARC said that the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries are still preventing SARC teams from reaching the Alouk water station to fix the damage and help civilians have access to potable water, stressing the teams' readiness to provide necessary help if they can enter the area safely.

In the meantime the National Union of Syrian Expatriates in Sweden and Europe condemned the Turkish regime's crime of cutting water supplies  for Hasaka, urging the international community to hold the Turkish occupation accountable for this war crime and genocide attempt being perpetrated under the silence of the world.

Hamda Mustafa