BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:50 P.M.) – Footage released on Friday captured the progress of the restoration to Aleppo’s key water pumping facility at al-Khafsa near the Euphrates.
Director of the water distribution station in Aleppo Province, Abdul Wahab Habha, noted that the station was “a huge facility that provided water throughout the northern part of Syria and even some southern provinces” and that “water from here went on to irrigate the land over an area of 50,000 square hectares.”
According to the workers of the station, when the site was captured by militants, the station’s personnel refused to evacuate it. Water tower engineer, Ahmad Bahridiyab, recounted that when the station was under the militants’ control, the personnel “continued with our work. Every day we came here and made sure that everything was in order.”
The station, which was a joint Syria-USSR project, was reportedly commissioned in 1989 and constructed by Soviet specialists.
Earlier this year, Aleppo residents reportedly went without drinkable water for almost two months following the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) who were then in charge of the facility, decided to cut supply.
In March, the Syrian Arab Army recaptured the station from IS. The site was first captured by forces in opposition to the government in February 2013 before being captured by IS in January 2014.