Turkey accused of weaponizing water rights in northeast Syria, increasing tensions with Syrian Kurds


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A dramatic drop in water levels on the Euphrates River in recent weeks has increased tensions between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces. Kurdish officials in northeast Syria accuse Turkey of reducing the levels of water flowing from the Euphrates, causing an agricultural crisis and a major power shortage in the region. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry denies that this is taking place. USCIRF Commissioner Nadine Maenza joins The Greek Current to discuss reports that Turkey is weaponizing water rights in northeast Syria, and why this is a threat to regional stability and to vulnerable religious minority communities in the area.

Nadine Maenza is a Commissioner with the USCIRF and the President of the organization Patriot Voices. She has represented USCIRF in various delegations, and has traveled in her own personal capacity to better understand religious freedom conditions in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Bangladesh, as well as recently spending a month in northeast Syria.

You can read the articles we discuss on our podcast here:

Water Drop in Euphrates River Increases Tensions Between Syrian Kurds, Turkey

Syria: Are water supplies being weaponized by Turkey?

USCIRF Annual Report 2021

USCIRF Commissioner Nadine Maenza’s statement

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