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.