World Bulletin/News Desk
Syrian opposition warned on Tuesday that the Syrian regime bombing the Firat (Euphrates) Dam in the northern Raqqa city could lead to a catastrophe.
National Coalition Of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) issued a joint statement saying that the Assad regime bombed the foundations of the Euphrates Dam, threatening millions of Syrian lives.
Highlighting that the Syrian regime paved the way for an unprecented humanitarian catastrophe by pouring cluster bombs all over the surroundings of the dam, the statement warned eastern Syria was among the regions at stake in the first place in case of a new catastrophe by the regime.
Three million will be affected if the dam collapses
The statement argued that if the Euphrates Dam collapsed, it would impact at least three million Syrians living in the wider region extending from the eastern parts of Syria to the Ramadi city in the west of Iraq's capital Baghdad, sparking off a humanitarian disaster.
Euphrates Dam, also known as the Tabqa Dam, is an earth-fill dam on the Euphrates River, located 40 kilometres upstream from the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.
The dam is 60 metres high and 4.5 kilometres long and is the largest dam in Syria. Its construction enabled the creation of Lake Assad, Syria's largest water reservoir.
Possible collapse of the dam will also hit Iraq
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Iraqi Rava district council member Musnah Ismail claimed that Rava, Ane and Al-Qaem districts will be flooded in case of a collapse, putting at least 300 thousand lives at risk along the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Another Iraqi water resources official said they have taken necessary precautions against possible floodings of agricultural areas and houses as well as oil basins.
Officials also alert that a collapse in the dam will jeopardize around 430 historical sites and artifacts including the Ane Castle dating back to the Abbasid reign and a number of caves from the Hellenistic period.
Fighter jets of Syrian army bombed some areas around Euphrates Dam, Lake Assad and areas surrounding the lake last weekend, creating damage in one of the electricity producing turbines, FSA Raqqa spokesman Ahmed Abu Bakir told Anadolu Agency.
Bakir said the dam provided power to numerous areas in Syria and the dam lake was one of the most strategic water resources of the country.
Areas close to the dam within the borders of Raqqa in northern Syria were reportedly under Free Syrian Army control sice mid-March.
Moscow, which denies its troops have a role in the takeover of Crimea, says people there - a small majority of whom are ethnic Russians - should have the right to secede
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to London to meet with his Russian, as Putin and French President Francois Hollande discussed "possibilities for stepping up international support" for a solution
"Syria is now the biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis facing the world, with violence reaching unthinkable levels," Ban's press office said
In an interview with the France 24 news channel, Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi and Qatar of sponsoring terrorism in his country.
The building is reported to have had gas smells emanating from it for weeks.
His address to the Knesset was staunchly pro-Israeli, and he delighted his hosts by claiming Jewish ancestral roots and talking tough on Iran
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has said Russia is to build two new nuclear power plants in the country.
The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been involved in nearly two decades of conflict that spilled into eastern Congo
Egyptian authorities have tightened their control over the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip since last July's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian army.
Edward Dolinsky, head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, made a lobbying trip to Jerusalem but not received by officials from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
"Jordan did not bow to these demands because the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) itself has not adopted a unified position on the need to isolate Qatar over its foreign policies," the lawmaker said on condition of anonymity.
Mustafa Jemilev became the first Crimean Tatar leader to meet with a Russian leader in 200 years. The meeting lasted half an hour, after which Jemilev revealed that the two sides had agreed to continue talks.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said "With Chancellor Merkel we both believe that signing of the association agreement with Ukraine as soon as possible would be beneficial"
Belarus would ask Russia to send "no more than 12 to 15 planes", indicating that the request had been made under a clause of a "union treaty"
Police stopped protesters from the RCD and MSP who were showing red signs with the word 'Boycott', saying their demonstration was illegal
The one-day meeting appeared to mirror a series of "Friends of Syria" conferences in which Western and Arab nations pledged political and financial support for the rebels