A boy fills buckets with water sourced from underground wells in Aleppo May 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Aref Haj Youssef)
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Pro- and anti-Assad Aleppo residents, as well as rights groups, have slammed what they call the collective punishment of civilians by suspending services and utilities, as a water crisis there entered its 12th day.While water began return to some areas in Aleppo Tuesday, large swathes of both eastern, mainly rebel-held areas and western, government-controlled parts of the city remained dry Thursday, affecting an estimated 1 million people. The Syrian Foreign Ministry told the U.N. Wednesday that rebels were using "collective punishment" against civilian populations by targeting water supplies, something it has been accused of itself through blockades of rebel areas and the indiscriminate use of "barrel bombs" on civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo. Under a deal with the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, the local Shariah Committee and the Syrian government, the rebels agreed to restore power if the regime ceased using barrel bombs on rebel-controlled areas, threatening to cut the water supply lines to regime-held neighborhoods if they failed to do so.Others said the Nusra Front, which controls the main Suleiman al-Halabi station, botched an attempt to deprive regime-held areas of water and ended up affecting the whole city.
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