Strategic Foresight Group researchers define “Blue Strikes” as follows:
- Direct Target - A direct target is a focused attack on water or water-related infrastructure, such as an attack on a dam or a water pipeline. For example, fighting between ISIS and anti-ISIS militias hit a water pipeline that cut off water supplies for 650,000 people in Mosul.
- Weapon - A weapon is an attack where water is used or there is a threat to use water as a means of violence, such as threatening to cut off a water source or flooding of a region. For example, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) controlled the water resources in the northern part of the Tigris River which provided the water for central and southern Iraq and KRG had threatened to cut off this source of water when it felt the Iraqi government had not followed through on promises to the KRG.
- Indirect Target - An indirect target is an attack on areas surrounding water infrastructure without the express intention of hitting or damaging the water infrastructure, where water infrastructure is attacked incidentally. For example, the US-led coalition conducted airstrikes against ISIS in order to weaken ISIS’s hold in the region, thereby destroying the main pipeline supplying water to Raqqa.
Further Reading: Other SFG “Blue Peace Bulletins”
Yemen, released January 2019:
In “Water and Vioence: Yemen” Strategic Foresight Group examines the issue of protecting water in Yemen.
Ukraine, released February 2019:
Strategic Foresight Group’s “Water and Violence: Ukraine” examines the prospects of securing critical water infrastructure in Donbass? What can be done by the relevant actors and the international community?