Einzeltitel - Europäische und Internationale Zusammenarbeit
How the Syrian Government Uses Water to Punish and Reward
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Since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, the government has used water as a weapon by cutting off access in opposition-held areas; bombing water infrastructure and springs. Following threats against anti-government protesters in Palmyra, for instance, the government interrupted the city’s water access and bombed Palmyra. As one interviewee put it, „when Bashar al-Assad wanted revenge, he just cut off the water“. The majority of the 150 respondents interviewed for this paper identified mismanagement by authorities as the main reason for water scarcity in modern-day Syria. The government in turn has blamed “terrorists” and climate change for environmental deterioration and water scarcity, and presented itself as the only entity that can safeguard Syria’s water resources. International organizations and governments cooperating with the Syrian regime to rebuild water infrastructure should make equal access to water a precondition for funding.