Turkey’s Water Seizure Increases Farmers’ Suffering in Syria’s Manbij

This report by Saddam al-Hassan was published by North Press Agency on 3 March, 2021

The recent seizure of the Euphrates water by Turkey has increased the sufferings of the villagers in the countryside of Manbij, north Syria.

Water cutoff by Turkey affected people in the Syrian territory in terms of generating power, irrigating lands, and fishing.

Turkey has been seizing the Euphrates water since mid in February.   

Khalaf al-Khamis, a resident of al-Sandaliya village, adjacent to the Euphrates River, said, “Our suffering increased since the water level decreased.”

“Fishermen are also suffering as there is little fishing now,” he told North Press.

While Ahmad Hamza, from Kherbat Bashar village, east Manbij, is forced to transfer water to his house by tanks.

“We are about to face a real disaster, since most villagers near the river mainly depend on cultivating as a source of living, and there will not be agriculture production this year due to the decreasing water level,” Hamza told North Press.

Turkey keeps water in six dams, the largest of which is Ataturk Dam and the second largest in the Middle East, with a storage capacity of 48 billion m³, violating by that the international agreement.

According to the agreement signed between Syria and Turkey in 1987 related to the Euphrates River, Syria’s share of water coming from Turkey, is 500 m³ per second.