Syria calls on Turkey to release water into Euphrates river

File – The effects of declining water levels in the Euphrates River. (North Press Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Syrian foreign ministry called on Turkey to release water into the Euphrates River, after Ankara limited the flow of the Euphrates into Syria.

Syrian Minister of Water Resources Tammam Raad visited the province of Deir ez-Zor on Thursday to examine the level of water of the Euphrates River and its impact on agriculture and drinking water.

Raad said the decrease in water levels was due to “blocking water from the Turkish side, which we call on to release in accordance with the fair quota established for Syria and Iraq,” Hawar News Agency reported.

“We call on the international community and organizations to intervene in this matter in order to restore the flow of the Euphrates River,” Raad was quoted as saying.

Turkey has limited the flow of the Euphrates River into Syria for over three months, according to North Press Agency (NPA), which covers news in northeastern Syria.

The water flow to the Euphrates is now limited to less than 200 cubic meters, the General Administration of Dams in northeastern Syria said.

An agreement signed between Turkey and Syria in 1987 stipulates that Ankara should release from its dams 500 cubic meters of water per second down the Euphrates and across the border.

Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the situation continued to threaten water security in Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Hasakah.

“Turkey’s seizure of large quantities of the Euphrates River water has caused drought of the Khabour River and its tributaries,” Director of Water Resources in Hasakah Abdulaziz Amin told SANA.

Co-chair of Raqqa’s Labor Union Zaher al-Abdulla said on Monday that thousands of people rely on cultivation which is being collapsed as the result of decrease in water levels in the Euphrates River.

“Lands will be unsuitable for agriculture if the Euphrates water continues to decrease, curbing many irrigation projects,” Abdullah added, as quoted by NPA.

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