BEIRUT (Reuters) – Water has reached a pumping station inside Aleppo and will “soon” go out to residential districts in the city, Syrian state media said on Tuesday.
Aleppo’s main water supply has been cut off for nearly two months, and residents have largely relied on ground wells or water bought from private vendors.
The Syrian army last week captured the al-Khafsa area east of Aleppo, where treatment and pumping plants provide the city with water. The army and allied forces have made rapid gains against Islamic State in the Aleppo countryside, in a sweeping advance that has brought them to the bank of the Euphrates river.
Citing Water Minister Nabil al-Hassan, state-run news agency SANA said water had now reached the Suleiman al-Halabi station inside Aleppo and will be pumped to the city’s residents.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitoring group, said the station had started pumping water to the main reservoirs across the city.
Water sources have been repeatedly damaged during Syria’s nearly six-year-old war. A U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said on Tuesday that Syria’s air force had deliberately bombed water sources in December, cutting off water for 5.5 million people in and around the capital Damascus.
(Reporting by Ellen Francis; Editing by Hugh Lawson)