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Turkey throttles water as pandemic looms over northeast Syria

Western nongovernmental organizations confirm that the water supply from the Alok pumping station has been repeatedly interrupted since the Turkish offensive.
A member of the Kurdish Internal Security Forces of Asayesh stands guard on a deserted street in Syria's northeastern city of Hasakeh on April 30, 2020, following measures taken by the Kurdish-led local authorities there, to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Kurdish-led administration in northeast Syria said Turkey and its Sunni rebel allies halted service at the Alok pumping station in the Turkish-occupied town of Ras al-Ain today, putting efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the war-ravaged region at risk. Hawar news quoted officials from the autonomous administration’s water authority as saying, “The Turkish occupation and its mercenaries have cut off the water to al-Hasakah city from Alok station for the sixth time consecutively since its occupation of Serekaniye,” using the Kurdish name for the border town that was taken over by Turkish forces in October. 

Sources from two Western non-governmental organizations operating in the area confirmed that the water had been turned off this morning. They said the water authority had sent out an emergency alert asking households to manage water consumption in view of the cut.

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