Fire Extinguished on Oil Tanker off Syria after Suspected Drone Attack

The Syrian Oil Ministry said a fire broke out in a tanker on its coast after an alleged drone attack on Saturday.

The official state news agency said the fire in the oil tanker outside the Baniyas refinery had been extinguished.

The oil ministry said the fire started after an alleged drone attack originated in Lebanese territorial waters. No further details were given, nor was it given where the tanker came from.

Syria’s oil resources are largely outside of government-controlled areas, but two of its refineries are operational. This makes Damascus dependent on Iran for fuel. However, the US Treasury Department’s sanctions target a network that spans Syria, Iran and Russia and is responsible for shipping oil to the Syrian government.

There have been a number of mysterious attacks on ships in the past few months. They arose amid mounting tensions in the region between Iran, Israel and the United States.

Earlier this month there was an attack on an Iranian cargo ship intended to serve as a floating base for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards off the coast of Yemen. The shadow war in the waters of the Middle East first erupted in 2019 when the US Navy accused Iran of a series of explosions in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in June this year.

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