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The continuos shipping of war fuel in Syria

By Areej Zaher*


Apparently, the machine of war is not going to stop in the near future, while its transforming from armed conflict and bloodshed to economical and social conflicts when powerful countries are fighting each other on Syrian territory to get the lion’s share of its treasures and national resources. Sadly, the majority of Arab countries were not much of support to Syria, and even some of them took part in inflaming and maintaining the flames of war.

Recently there has been a polemic between the Syrian government and the Egyptian one after the Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis accused Egypt of banning the passage of oil tankers to Syria through the Suez Canal. He held the US and Egypt responsible for the crisis in providing energy derivatives, which started six months ago after the flow of two million barrels per months to Syria were stopped, but Cairo denied.

This respond came after what was recently circulating in the media about Egyptian authorities banning an Iranian tanker from passing to Syria.  The Egyptian government’s media center denied and affirmed it was a rumor aimed to influence navigation in the canal.

Related to this matter, Chairman of Sues Canal Authority Mohab Mamish affirmed in previous statements that no ship carrying legal goods can be banned from passing, unless there is a warning from the UN, or if the ship has committed violations.

The first thing comes to our mind is that the sanctions posed on Iran in 2008 is the reason for this crisis in Syria, when the US announced these sanctions on Iran shipping lines, because of U.S. Treasury allegations that accused Iran of involvement to advance its missile programs and transport military cargoes, so Iran was forced to cut back on its shipping traffic.

In the meanwhile, Syrian resources had affirmed that Mr. Khamis talked about how many gestures were made by the Syrian government to the Egyptian one in order to make it change its attitude in banning fuel tanker heading to Syria, asserting that only small gushes would be enough for the country’s minimum consumption. Unfortunately, there was no response of the Egyptian part, though Damascus has given scenarios could spare Cairo any economical consequences. These recourses also affirmed that about six months ago, the Suez Canal administration forbade all the fuel tankers heading to Syria from passing, and all the attempts failed to let even one tanker pass, according to the recourses.

The same recourses stated that in last February, the U.S forces destroyed a Turkish fuel tanker was carrying Iranian fuel to Syria by the coast of Latakia, which caused the death of the whole crew and dark waves in the Mediterranean sea, which affirms the U.S statement  a few months ago about its intention to destroy every fuel tankers heading to Syria, along with forbidding, monitoring and panelizing the crew members of the fuel tankers, which made it extremely difficult for these tankers to head to Syria.

With the siege posed on Syria, along with the economical sanctions, this new obstacle and difficulty of fuel supplies made  Syrians’ life a living hell, suffocating them in poverty while they have already suffered the raging fire of war.

An observation in 2008 considered Syria to be the 43th country in natural gas reserves, and the 31th in oil reserves. This means that Syria will be the third in exporting gas coming after Russia and Iran. However these treasures are still under the ground waiting to be extracted.


*Areej Zaher is a Syrian writer.

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