TEL TAMR, Syria — Turkish-backed factions are using the waters of the Khabur River as a weapon of war to pressure the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria, according to the Netherlands-based non-profit humanitarian organization PAX.
PAX reported that the Syrian National Army (SNA) has built dams on the Khabur River which passes through several villages in North and East Syria and flows south into the Euphrates River in Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor).
Relying on field work and satellite imagery, PAX stated that SNA factions had laid berms on a main river at a time when the region faced the driest summer in decades, noting that this is an “unequivocal example of the use of water as a weapon of war”.
The report indicated that the three dams have exacerbated the severe drought in the region, adding that the effect of the intense heat was amplified by limited amounts of rain. Agricultural communities have less water than ever before, at a time when they most needed. Many farmers in the Khabur River Valley have seen crop yields drop by alarming amounts. Some have lost their entire crop.
🆕Killing the Khabur River: How Turkish-backed armed groups blocked northeast #Syria’s water lifeline. Our latest research based on field work and satellite analysis reveals another use of water as a weapon in a climate-affected conflict-area 💧🧵1/ xhttps://t.co/ugx2EQb2gg pic.twitter.com/kGET5mTll0
— Wim Zwijnenburg (@wammezz) November 3, 2021