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Syrian government calls on Turkey to release Euphrates water

The Syrian government and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accuse Turkey of being behind the dramatic drop in water levels flowing into Syria, something that could spell a major economic and environmental crisis.
Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, look toward the Jaabar Castle as they sit on a boat at Lake Assad, an enormous reservoir created by the Tabqa dam, on April 29, 2017.

ALEPPO, Syria — The water level of the Euphrates River in Syria continues to decline, causing the riverbed to narrow with the decreasing levels of water flowing downstream from Turkey, falling below 200 cubic meters per second. This dramatic drop in the river’s water level is expected to cause serious economic and environmental disasters.

The Euphrates River in Syria separates between the lands under the control of the Syrian government and the territories held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Syrian government controls the areas located south of the Euphrates and overlooking its right bank, including the areas extending to the southern countryside of the provinces of Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Manbij in the countryside of Aleppo. Despite scarcity in water flows, the government continues to operate water pumps and irrigation projects and systems.

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