Syria Says Pipeline Blast Was Terrorist Attack, US Suspects IS

24 Août, 2020, 23:35 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Syrian firefighters put out a burning pipeline between the areas of Adra and al Dhamir in the Damascus area

In 2013, much of Syria was hit by a power cut after rebel shelling hit a gas pipeline during the country's civil war.

The blast at a pipeline outside Damascus caused a drop in gas supply to power stations, leading to blackouts across the country.

The oil minister, Ali Ghanem, said the explosion struck the line that feeds three power stations in southern Syria, calling the incident "a cowardly terrorist act". He said technical teams were already on the ground.

A suspected attack on a pipeline in Syria has caused a nationwide blackout overnight, the state news agency quoted authorities as saying on Monday.

In Geneva, the US envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, said there had been an upsurge in Islamic State activity in the southeast of the Syrian desert.

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The recent explosion at a pipeline outside Damascus was likely an attack by Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL), US envoy for Syrian affairs James Jeffrey has said. Hundreds of American troops are based in the country to assist local partner forces, including the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, with preventing an IS resurgence.

The 1,200km Arab Gas Pipeline delivers the fuel from Egypt to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Almost a decade of fighting between the Russian-backed government and the opposition has taken a toll on Syria's oil and gas infrastructure.

In December, near-simultaneous attacks believed to have been carried out by drones hit three government-run oil and gas installations in central Syria. One of the attacks targeted the oil refinery in the central city of Homs. Islamic State lost its last territory in Syria in March 2019 but pockets of fighters remain. Global sanctions have choked off shipments to areas under government control, and most oil fields are now in the hands of the US-backed Kurdish forces, who seized them from the Islamic State in 2017.

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