In December, media reported that militants had seized control of major Damascus water sources in Wadi Barada. Earlier in January, UN humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland said that some 5.5 million people in Damascus had little to no access to water after supply from the Wadi Barada spring was disrupted, saying that this constituted a war crime.
“Second part of that ceasefire is not about al-Nusra and ISIS [Daesh], and the area that we’ve been fighting to liberate recently, regarding the water sources of the capital Damascus, is occupied by al-Nusra, and al-Nusra announced formally that they are occupying that area. So, it’s not part of the ceasefire,” Assad told French journalists, as quoted by the RTL broadcaster.
The president added that there have been daily breaches of the ceasefire, but these are mainly because the terrorists are occupying the main water supply to Damascus.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including Daesh, which is banned in a range of countries, including Russia.
A nationwide ceasefire between the Syrian government and opposition factions took effect at midnight on December 30. Russia and Turkey serve as guarantors of the deal.