Turkey to cover clean water demand in northern Syria

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 12.04.2017 21:58

Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said yesterday that the Turkish government is continuing intense efforts in Syria to help the war-ravaged state regain its functionality in infrastructure, including totally meeting the clean drinking water needs in the country's north, which was liberated from Daesh terrorists with Operation Euphrates Shield.

Speaking to reporters, Kaynak touched upon a possible new cross-border operation in Syria and Iraq, saying that Ankara primarily focused on helping the normalization of civilian life in the areas that have been liberated from Daesh.

"After this time, our duty is accelerating of returning to a normal life. Syrian people have migrated to various countries around the world, notably to Turkey," he said.

"We are coordinating with the Syrian transition government and local administrations, to provide clean water to the region. Agriculture has been reviving and they will harvest in summer. We are also repairing schools. Just in this year, 60,000 children returned to their schools," he added.

Ankara launched the cross-border Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24 last year to secure Turkey's southern border. The operation ended March 29, as officials announced that more than 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) of land in northern Syria had been liberated from Daesh, more than 2,500 terrorists were killed and that some 100,000 refugees living in the Gaziantep province are now expected to return to the liberated areas.

After Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkish officials said Ankara can launch a new cross-border operation if needed, even though they did not specify what may prompt Turkish forces to make such a move.

Meanwhile, Kaynak added that he will meet with officials from the United Nations in Geneva on April 25 in order to discuss the construction of temporary shelters for people in al-Bab who do not have accommodation.

"If we can obtain financial support, we will provide at least a temporary shelter for those who have been living in wooded areas. We have already planned the education and health infrastructure of the region. A depot was also constructed in Kilis, near the Turkey-Syrian border, in order to regularly procure food and medicine for these people," he said.

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