Home News Fireplace extinguished on oil tanker off Syria after suspected assault

Fireplace extinguished on oil tanker off Syria after suspected assault

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Firefighters have extinguished a fireplace on an oil tanker off Syria’s Banias refinery after a suspected assault by a drone coming from the course of Lebanese waters.

The identification of the vessel was unclear with Iran’s semi-official information company Tasnim denying it was an Iranian ship. TankerTrackers mentioned in a tweet “the tanker seen burning right now off the coast of Banias will not be an Iranian vessel” however Beirut-registered.

Doable drone assault

Syrian state information company SANA, which on Sunday cited an oil ministry assertion, gave no additional particulars about what it mentioned was a drone assault.

It mentioned the fireplace erupted after “what was believed to be an assault by a drone from the course of Lebanese waters”.

Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam TV mentioned there was some harm to an Iranian tanker however no casualties. However Iran’s Tasnim information company, quoting “sure sources”, mentioned: “The accident occurred to a different vessel … and isn’t linked to a ship carrying Iranian cargo.”

Based on a conflict monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), not less than three individuals have been killed.

“At the very least three Syrians have been killed together with two members of the crew” within the assault that sparked a fireplace, mentioned Rami Abdel Rahman, head of SOHR, with out offering particulars.

The professional-Damascus Al-Mayadeen TV mentioned the tanker was suspected to have been hit by an Israeli drone. The Israeli army declined to touch upon the incident.

In a report printed final month that cited US and Center East officers, the Wall Avenue Journal mentioned Israel had focused not less than a dozen vessels certain for Syria, most carrying Iranian oil, since late 2019.

A whole bunch of Israeli air assaults have additionally struck Syria because the conflict started in 2011, largely focusing on authorities allies from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah motion, in addition to Syrian forces.

Early final 12 months, Damascus mentioned divers had planted explosives on offshore pipelines of the Banias refinery, however the harm had not halted operations.

And in February 2020, 4 oil and gasoline websites within the central province of Homs have been attacked by armed drones, sparking fires and inflicting materials harm.

Natanz assault

Saturday’s assault comes after a Syrian officer was killed and three troopers wounded on Thursday in assaults launched by Israel after a missile was fired in the direction of a secretive nuclear web site in Israel.

The Israeli military mentioned on the time that the surface-to-air missile had been fired from Syria in the direction of the southern Negev desert, the place the Dimona nuclear reactor is situated.

The trade of fireplace got here lower than two weeks after Iran accused Israel of “terrorism” following an explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.

Israel is taken into account the main army energy within the area, and is broadly believed to own its sole nuclear arsenal.

It has by no means disclosed its atomic arsenal, however overseas consultants say it has between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads.

Gasoline shortages

Syria’s coastal city of Banias homes a refinery that together with one other in Homs covers a big a part of the nation’s demand for diesel, heating gas, petrol and different petroleum merchandise, in response to business consultants.

The war-torn nation has confronted petrol and gas shortages over the previous 12 months with provides rationed in government-held areas and costs elevated.

Syria has grown extra depending on Iranian oil shipments in recent times however tightening Western sanctions on Iran, Syria and their allies, in addition to a overseas forex crunch, have made it harder to get sufficient provides.

Pre-war manufacturing was 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Syria.

However it stood at simply 89,000bpd in 2020, Syria’s oil minister mentioned in February, of which as much as 80,000bpd got here from Kurdish areas exterior authorities management.