Daesh has taken control of six large dams in both Iraq and Syria and often uses water as a weapon against its opponents, a new report has revealed.
Produced by German TV, the report revealed that in Syria and Iraq the issue of water has become a source of concern after the extremist group gained controlled of a number of dams in the area.
According to the report, the group has dominated six of eight major dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and uses them as weapons against the people. It also continuously attacks a seventh one.
German researcher, Tobias von Lossow of the Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) said that Daesh has carried out its plan by closing the dams causing droughts in the villages.
“On one hand, IS is damming the river to retain water and dry up certain regions, thereby cutting off the water supply to villages and communities. On the other hand, it has also flooded areas to drive away their inhabitants and to destroy their livelihoods,” Von Lossow said, using another acronym for Daesh.
“IS uses water systematically and consistently. IS uses the entire range of possibilities and variations of water warfare.”
Daesh gained control of the Euphrates dam in the city of Ramadi in May 2015, reducing the amount of water in the lower parts to half, causing a shortage in water in five provinces.
Its fighters halted the flow of water to expel Iraqi troops then used it to flood the area causing major damages and forcing 60,000 people to flee.
According to the report, Daesh has also contaminated or poisoned water sources. Von Lossow explained that in December 2014, the group mixed drinking water with crude oil south of Tikrit.
“The biggest risk remains on the table when pressure increases on the terrorist organisation and it starts to lose ground and population, it can resort to destroying the area by bombing the dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which will turn their water into weapons of mass destruction,” he added.