By Deniz Cicek Palabiyik
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has drilled nearly 70 wells to meet the water needs of over 400,000 people in northern Syria, in a region recently liberated from terrorists, Turkish officials said Wednesday.
“We’re working hard to meet the water demands of those … who live in places where a safe zone has been established in Syria through the operations of our heroic security forces," said Mevlut Aydin, the head of Turkey’s Waterworks Directorate (DSI).
The 69 wells, drilled by the directorate in an area of Syria liberated by the Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016-2017, meet the urgent drinking water needs of some 432,000 Syrian people, he added.
In addition to drilling new wells, the directorate has also renovated some 60 old wells that were idle and fell into disrepair.
In Turkish provinces near the Syrian border — Sanliurfa, Hatay and Kilis — where hundreds of thousands of Syrians have sought refuge from the civil war, the directorate has also drilled nearly 50 wells to provide water for half a million people, said Aydin.
Turkey currently hosts 3.5-4 million Syrian refugees, more than any nation in the world.
Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, eliminated the terrorist threat along the Turkish border in the northern Syrian regions of Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Al-Bab, and Azaz with the use of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.