Medical sources in Damascus said that a number of people were rushed to hospital inside the capital after drinking contaminated water that was distributed by the Assad regime to residents of the city. The Ayn Alfija water pumping station, the main water supply for Damascus, has been put out of service.
The Smart News Network quoted a medical source working inside a hospital where affected people were treated as saying that people were rushed to hospital after drinking water that the Assad regime distributed to residents in Damascus. The source refused to disclose their identity for fear of reprisal by the Assad regime.
For the last two weeks, the Assad regime’s air force has launched almost daily bombing raids on Wadi Barada valley, causing damage to Ayn Alfija water pumping station.
Water supplies to Damascus and its surroundings have been cut off since December 22 with water now being rationed in Damascus as the Assad regime is relying on reserves.
Wadi Barada has been surrounded by regime forces and the Hezbollah Militia since mid-2015, but the siege was tightened in late December as the regime piled on pressure to secure an evacuation deal and retake full control of the area.
The intense aerial and artillery bombardment on Wadi Barada valley by regime forces and their allied Hezbollah militias has left dozens of civilians killed and injured and caused massive damage to vital civilian infrastructure, most notably Ayn Alfija water pumping station.
Several schools in Damascus were forced to close due to the water crisis, the Smart News Network said. Each neighborhood only gets tap water for about two hours a day. The prices of bottled water in the market have reached more than double the cost of water sold at state-subsidized grocery stores.
People in the capital are forced to purchase water from private vendors, where prices and water quality are unregulated, the Network added. A 1000-liter tank of soft water is being sold for 25,000 Syrian pounds, or 12,500 pounds if it is hard water.
Civic institutions and civil society organizations in the besieged Wadi Barada valley have called on sponsors of the ceasefire agreement to put pressure on the Assad regime and its allied foreign militias to stop violating the agreement.
In a statement released on Monday, the civic institutions called upon the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter the valley to evaluate the worsening humanitarian situation. They pledged to help bring in maintenance workshops to repair the water facility once the bombardment has stopped.
Civic institutions and civil society organizations said that they were informed that the ceasefire agreement included Wadi Barada valley, but were caught by surprise when the Assad regime and the Hezbollah Militia escalated bombardment on the area which was hit with more than 35 barrel bombs and 10 airstrikes .
The statement stressed that the FSA fighters in Wadi Barada valley fully committed to the ceasefire agreement, adding that they are acting in self-defense against the regime and its allies’ violations. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)