UN condemns air strike on Syrian water plant

Damascus, Dec 3 (IANS) An air strike on a water treatment plant in Syria that cut supplies for 3.5 million people has been branded as an “alarming” example of the war’s toll on local populations.

It was not yet clear who carried out the air strike on the facility last week, but UNICEF claims it shows how the rules of war – designed to protect civilians – were being broken daily.

In addition to fighting between Syrian government forces and rebel groups, the US, France and Russia have been carrying out air attacks on targets in Syria.

Hanaa Singer, UNICEF’s representative in Syria, said: “In Syria, the rules of war, including those meant to protect vital civilian infrastructure, continue to be broken on a daily basis.

“The air-strike which reportedly hit al-Khafseh water treatment plant in the northern city of Aleppo last Thursday was a particularly alarming example,” British online Daily Times reported.

The water facility was considered one of the most important in Syria, and produces around 18 million litres of drinking water from the Euphrates River every day.

She added: “The bombing caused severe damage and cut off piped water supplies on which approximately 3.5 million people depend.

“Water pumping operations have since been partially restored, but more than 1.4 million people in rural Aleppo continue to suffer interruptions to their supply.”

Singer did not say who was responsible for the air strike, though it comes just a few hours after British parliament voted to extend its bombing campaign to Syria.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the US-led coalition bombed the water plant, while the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed Syrian government warplanes.

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