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160 Syrian Villages Deserted Due To Climate Change

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160 Syrian Villages Deserted Due To Climate Change

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Some 160 villages in northern Syria were deserted by their residents in 2007 and 2008 because of climate change, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The report drawn up by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) warns of potential armed conflict for control of water resources in the Middle East.

"The 2007/8 drought caused significant hardship in rural areas of Syria. In the northeast of the country, a reported 160 villages have been entirely abandoned and the inhabitants have had to move to urban areas," it said.

In Syria and also in Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, "climate change threatens to reduce the availability of scarce water resources, increase food insecurity, hinder economic growth and lead to large-scale population movements," the report said.

"This could hold serious implications for peace in the region," the Canada-based instit…