According to UNICEF, “Intense attacks” in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has left nearly 2 million residents without access to running water. Airstrikes on Friday damaged a pumping station that supplies water to the eastern parts of the city. In retaliation for the attack, another pumping station was intentionally shut off, cutting off the water supply to 1.5 million people in western Aleppo.
Hanaa Singer, a UNICEF representative in Syria, said the lack of water is the latest in a series of atrocities the children of Aleppo have faced during the conflict.
“Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day,” she said in a statement.
Eastern Aleppo will be forced to rely on “highly contaminated well water.” Deep wells in the western part of the city are a safer alternative and Unicef will provide water trucks to all areas, though Singer said it is only “a temporary solution.”
“It is critical for children’s survival that all parties to the conflict stop attacks on water infrastructure,” she added.
A seven-day cease-fire negotiated by the U.S. and Russia fell through on Monday leading to the fresh wave of violence that killed 91 people on Friday and 25 on Saturday as Syrian troops reportedly captured a rebel stronghold north of Aleppo.