US-backed Syrian opposition forces repair water well in Tanf: Coalition

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A picture shows the area around the Ain al-Fijeh water pumping station near Damascus. File photo

ARA News

The US-led coalition and partnered Vetted Syrian Opposition forces recently repaired a water well capable of producing more than 317,000 gallons of water a day in southern Syria, the coalition said in a statement on Saturday

“Due to Daesh [ISIS] control of water wells in the region, water resources for local Bedouins as well as partner forces are limited. The repair of this well provides a much needed resource for those forces opposing Daesh,” the coalition said.

“The area was controlled by Daesh a little more than a year ago. Now, through the dedicated effort of partner forces, it has been reclaimed and serves as a base of operations to facilitate their defeat,” said U.S. Army Capt. Aaron Gookins, a civil affairs team leader, using another acronym for ISIS.

“Now that partner forces have a working well, it’s another huge milestone achieved by the VSO in an effort to create sustainability for themselves.”

The well has been in disrepair since 2011 after the mass exodus of civilians escaping Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists.

After Coalition civil affairs troops assessed the well, the team discovered the motor pump was beyond repair and needed to be replaced.

“When they needed to have parts made, our partners were very resourceful and resilient using their own networks and contacts to move the project along,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Droppo, a civil affairs specialist. “It was really a boost of confidence for them.”

“Coalition and partner forces worked diligently to forge this partnership. The well project is one of many joint ventures to strengthen their relationship while building confidence within the VSO forces,” he said.

“I’m really excited to see some water come out of it,” said Droppo. “I’m happy to see the project get where it is today.”

“The coalition and VSO have seen their share of obstacles while completing the project. Among them – finding repair parts, locating appropriate contractors and vendors, and defeating daesh during a recent attack on the garrison.”

“Though the Coalition presence in the harsh landscape of the Hamid Desert is temporary, Coalition troops and partner forces continue to build new relationships and that will contribute to the defeat if Daesh in Syria,” the coalition said.

On 18 March 2017, the US-led coalition struck pro-regime forces that were advancing towards US-backed forces and coalition special forces at Tanf.

“This action was taken after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards At-Tanf were unsuccessful, a coalition aircraft show of force, and the firing of warning shots. Coalition forces have been operating in the At Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces engaged in the fight against ISIS,” the US-led coalition said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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