Protection measures for the Halabieh fortress include construction of a fill dam which will serve simultaneously as bypass road. According to the design the ring cutoff wall should be constructed using the slurry trench method which will ensure protection of the structures from underflooding. At the Zalabieh fortress, which is located high above the reservoir level, a bank will protect the structure from any wave action.

According to Aleksey Gorsky, Chief Design Engineer of JSC Institute Hydroproject foreign projects direction: “The walls and foundations of the Halabieh fortress is constructed from water-soluble crystalline gypsum and can be underflooded, and in some places flooded and completely destroyed. The Zalabieh fortress is located outside the flooding zone but the reservoir can badly affect its foundation.”

The Halabieh and Zalabieh fortresses are open-air museums. They were constructed in the 3rd century AD by inhabitants of Palmira to protect their trade routes going through the Palmira famous oasis. Romans and Byzantines considered this place as the most important strategic point in the system of defense against eastern enemies.

The design of the new project on the Euphrates River in Syria was started in 2007-2008 at the request of Syrian companies GOLD (General Organization for Land Development) and GCHS (General Company for Hydraulic Studies). At the same time, Institute Hydroproject conducted feasibility studies on possible pumped storage construction upstream of this project.