Oil tanker off Syria suspected attacked by drone, fire extinguished

Reuters

Posted at Apr 25 2021 01:46 AM

Oil tanker off Syria suspected attacked by drone, fire extinguished 1
Smoke rises from a tanker off the coastal city of Baniyas, Syria, in this handout picture released on April 24, 2021. SANA/Handout via Reuters

CAIRO - 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.

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.

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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. 

(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah and Ellen Francis Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Frances Kerry)