UNICEF Condemns Airstrikes Cutting Water Supplies to Aleppo

The UNICEF Representative in Syria, Hanaa Singer, said that “the rules of war, including those meant to protect vital civilian infrastructure, continue to be broken on a daily basis.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, Hanaa cited Russia’s bombing of the Al-Khafsa water treatment facility in Aleppo province on Thursday as “a particularly alarming example.”

“The bombing caused severe damage and cut off piped water supplies on which approximately 3.5 million people depend. Water pumping operations have since been partially restored, but more than 1.4 million people in rural Aleppo continue to suffer interruptions to their supply,” Hanaa added.

Hanaa further said that “the al-Khafseh is one of the most important facilities in Syria, producing an average of 18 million liters of drinking water each day. Processing raw water from the Euphrates River, it is the sole source of drinking water for four million people across Aleppo governorate.”

“International Humanitarian Law protects civilian infrastructure and the right of civilians to access services. Accordingly, UNICEF calls once again on all parties to the conflict to end all attacks on water facilities, treatment systems, pipelines, infrastructure and personnel who repair water supply installations.”

According to figures gathered by the Syrian Coalition’s media office and published on November 30, 3,330 civilians across Syria have been killed since Russia and Iran stepped up their support to Assad last September.

November saw Russia’s use of more powerful and deadly weapons against civilian targets, including the use of phosphorous bombs and cluster munitions, both internationally banned. The Russian air strikes have destroyed vital infrastructure and medical facilities. Among the civilian targets hit by the Russian warplanes are 3 schools, 14 hospitals, 2 markets, a water treatment facility, a bus station, and pharmaceutical and food processing plants.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 02.12.2015)

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