A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 24, 2021, shows smoke billowing from a tanker off the coast of the western Syrian city of Baniyas

Syria oil tanker catches fire after alleged Israeli attack

UK-based monitor says vessel came from Iran; Hezbollah-linked outlet reports tanker hit by IAF while near Baniyas terminal; Syria state media identifies attacking craft as drone coming from direction of Lebanese territorial waters

Ynet, Reuters |
Published: 04.24.21 , 20:35
Syria's oil ministry said on Saturday that firefighting teams managed to extinguish a fire in one of the tanks of an oil tanker off the oil terminal of Baniyas after a suspected drone attack from the direction of Lebanese territorial waters, state media reported.
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  • The Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese news outlet Al-Mayadeen reported that the tanker was attacked by Israeli aircraft.
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    A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 24, 2021, shows smoke billowing from a tanker off the coast of the western Syrian city of Baniyas
    A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 24, 2021, shows smoke billowing from a tanker off the coast of the western Syrian city of Baniyas
    A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 24, 2021, shows smoke billowing from a tanker off the coast of the western Syrian city of Baniyas
    (Photo: AFP)
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Syrian opposition group based in the UK, said that the tanker came from Iran.
    Despite the reports, Syria has not blamed anyone for the attack so far.
    Jerusalem and Tehran have both been reported to be locked in a covert maritime standoff in recent months amid a host of attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-owned vessels.
    Washington recently informed Jerusalem of its displeasure over recent attacks against Iranian targets attributed to Israel, as well as what it called “boasting” by Israeli officials regarding these incidents, sources said.
    The coastal town of Baniyas houses a refinery, which along with another in Homs, covers a significant part of Syrian demand for diesel, heating fuel, gasoline and other petroleum products, according to industry experts.
    The sanctions-hit, war-torn country has over the past year faced gasoline and fuel shortages, rationing supplies in government-held areas and hiking prices.
    Syria has in recent years grown more dependent on Iranian oil shipments but tightening Western sanctions on Iran, Syria and their allies, as well as a foreign currency crunch, have made it more difficult to get enough supplies.
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