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.
Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary General the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said alternative suppliers outside those countries involved in the ongoing dispute have been found for tournament-related construction projects.
The Damascus International Fair was once the leading event on Syria's economic calendar but had not been held since shortly after the outbreak of the country's war in March 2011.
The soldiers were en route to participate in an operation that began Saturday to oust Islamic State group militants from an area further north on the border, an army source told AFP.
Qatar’s Ambassador to Ankara says closing their Turkish base ‘obvious intervention of internal affairs’
Rouhani indicated a week ago that Iran was ready to walk out on the nuclear deal if the United States continued to apply fresh sanctions.
Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian foreign ministers say Israeli-Palestinian peace talks should be restarted
17-year-old allegedly wielded knife at Israeli security forces
The two leaders will meet in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to "discuss the latest developments in the region," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.
Operation aims to expel militants holed up in Ras Baalbek, Al-Fakhah and Al-Qaa towns
Southern city of Aden currently serves as temporary HQ for Yemen’s internationally recognized government
Egyptian authorities opened border this week to allow Palestinian pilgrims to travel to Saudi Arabia
London think tank says PKK, PYD/YPG parts of a 'transnational political umbrella, the Kurdistan Communities' Union (KCK)'
Local rights NGO accuses Egypt of blocking access to website run by German state broadcaster
Egypt recently ceded sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
Despite its association with terrorism, Washington sees PYD as viable ally against ISIL in Syria