Heavy bombardment of the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo has left about 1.75 million people without running water, the United Nations has said, according to The Guardian.
Intense attacks on Friday, September 23 prevented repairs to the city’s damaged Bab al-Nayrab pumping station, which supplies water to 250,000 people in the eastern parts of the city, according to the UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF.
In retaliation, the nearby Suleiman al-Halabi station, which pumps water to 1.5 million people in the west of Aleppo, was switched off, it said.
Fighting continued on Saturday, with pro-government forces intensifying the siege around eastern Aleppo and capturing a former refugee camp overlooking roads into the area. Rebel officials said heavy airstrikes, mostly carried out by Russian warplanes, hit at least four areas of the opposition-held east.
Hanaa Singer, the UNICEF representative in Syria, said: “Nearly 2 million people in Aleppo are once again with no running water through the public network.
“Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day.
“In the eastern part of Aleppo, the population will have to resort to highly contaminated well water. It is critical for children’s survival that all parties to the conflict stop attacks on water infrastructure, provide access to assess and repair damage to Bab al-Nayrab station, and switch the water back on at the Suleiman al-Halabi station.”
The 250,000 residents left in eastern Aleppo have been under near-continuous siege since government troops encircled the area in mid-July, The Guardian says.
Syrian government forces supported by Palestinian fighters took control of Handarat camp in a rebel-held area north of Aleppo on Saturday, the observatory said. The former Palestinian refugee camp, which overlooks one of the main roads into Aleppo, had been in rebel hands for years.
“Handarat has fallen,” an official with one of the main Aleppo rebel groups told Reuters. An army statement confirmed the advance, saying “large numbers of terrorists” had been killed.