Terrorist act sabotaged Syrian gas pipeline

Terrorist act sabotaged Syrian gas pipeline

/ News & Interviews / Monday, 15 July 2019 12:54

A new sabotage attack has hit a gas pipeline in Syria, state media reported, putting it out of service in the latest setback to the country's troubled energy sector.

The official news agency SANA denounced what it called a “terrorist act,” without identifying the suspected perpetrators.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, a bomb blast targeted the pipeline in the Badiya desert, where the Islamic State jihadist group is present.

The pipeline transports 2.5 million cubic meters of gas daily from the government-controlled Shaer field, the country’s largest, in the central province of Homs to the Ebla plant, according to SANA.

“The gas pipeline... was put out of service by a terrorist act,” the agency said, adding that “technical teams are working to repair it in the coming hours.”

The Badiya desert is the scene of regular clashes between regime forces and IS, which maintains a strike capability despite losing all the territory it once held in Syria.

The country's eight-year war has seen the regime lose control of key oil fields and caused state hydrocarbon revenues to plummet by billions of dollars.The government of President Bashar al-Assad has been slapped with a raft of Western economic sanctions, including an oil embargo the United States and its partners sometimes enforce militarily.

Last month, underwater pipelines connected to a refinery in western Syria were sabotaged. A senior official said at the time the attack was carried out with the help of a foreign state.

Before the war in 2011, hydrocarbons were one of the main sources of revenue for the Syrian authorities. But the central government has now lost control of major oil fields, and Western powers have imposed economic sanctions against Damascus.

With the conflicts, infrastructure has been severely damaged, sometimes leading to a halt in production.

In recent months, government zones have experienced a shortage of fuel that has been accentuated during the winter, particularly because of the sanctions imposed by Washington against Iran, unwavering ally of Damascus, which has become one of its main suppliers.

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