Ecological devastation after ISIS

10.08.2017, 14.48    Context

In Tebqa, the ISIS gangs converted a natural green oasis on an island into an emptry dry desert. They were cutting many trees and blew up the water canals. Now the new township is working hard to bring life back to the area.


The area, that is called the El-Kirîn greed district, is situated 10 kilometres west of Tebqa. It’s southern border is the Esed lake, which comprises 3 km2. After the dam belonging to the lake had been finished, the island had been built.


On the island there were lots of olive trees, apricot trees and many more species. Also the wild life was diverse – beginning with fish, deers, rabbits and foxes. So many citizens came here from all over Syria to enjoy the nature and spend their free time here. The people were bringing their tents and staying for some nights. So the island also became an economical source for many.


Then in 2012, the groups called ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA) first brought Tebqa under their control and transformed the area in one of their training camps. The people were not allowed to go there anymore. They also have built a prison in the area.


When ISIS took over the region, they used it mostly for their weapon arsenal and digged tunnels. Because of that more than 90% of the trees of the area were drying out. This follows the fact, that the ISIS members were blowing up the water canals and furthermore were placing hundreds of mines there.


After the liberation of the city on May 10th, the township and its ecology sector has made plans to bring the island to life again in several steps.


The responsible for ecology in the township, Cemal Ebduletîf, stated, that the first step would be to take away the mines and said: “We will realise this together with our special teams’ office for disarming mines. Then we will have to root out the dry trees. Our ecology sector will also give a lot of effort to discuss with international organisations to recultivate the island.”


The ecology sector also plans to spread ecological knowledge among the people and maybe to plant trees together with the residents on the island.


Media and Press Center YPJ

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