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Turkey accused of war crimes after water supply blocked in northern Syria for 22 days

SYRIAN Kurds called for action against an unfolding humanitarian crisis today as Turkey continued to block the water supply of thousands of people in Hasakah province.

A statement signed by human-rights and civil-society organisations in the north-eastern region urged the UN to intervene, saying that occupying forces had cut the supply from Alouk water station for the 22nd day.

The organisations condemned the “inhuman acts” of the Turkish forces, insisting that they amount to “a war crime and genocide” under the Geneva Convention.

They urged the international community to “pressure the Turkish occupying state to pump water to the people as soon as possible, not to exploit the people’s need for water and use their thirst as a weapon in its hand.”

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said he was aware of the situation after the Syrian representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, warned him of the “catastrophic” conditions in Hasakah.

UN-mediated talks on Syria are due to take place in Geneva on Monday involving US, Russian and Turkish ambassadors.

Mr Jaafari charged that Turkey was using water as a weapon and  that its troops had cut off the supply to Hasakah and its countryside more than 15 times over the past few days.

The station supplies water to about one million people in Hasakah city along with many others in surrounding villages and refugee camps, including al-Hol, which is home to thousands of Isis fighters and their families who were captured by Kurdish forces.

Turkey, which has the second-largest army among Nato countries, launched an illegal invasion and occupation of the region in October 2019, allied with jihadist forces.

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