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17 Iranian ‘Ghost Tankers’ Bring Oil Worth $1 Billion to Syria

17 Iranian ‘Ghost Tankers’ Bring Oil Worth $1 Billion to Syria

The oil and gas industry was a major source of revenue for Syria prior to its civil war that broke out in 2011. Over a decade of fighting reduced production by 95 percent forcing the Assad regime to rely almost entirely on Iranian tankers as a lifeline. However, the imports fall short of Syrian needs with Damascus and other major cities suffering frequent blackouts, which in turn have paralyzed its economy.

Attacks against these shipments have been reported over the past several years including Israeli drone strikes on the Iranian tankers outside the Baniyas port, and sabotage against the underwater pipelines transferring oil from the ships to the shore. The latter has led to oil spills and slowed the energy supply to Syria.

A sea turtle covered in tar on a beach in Israel, February 2021Credit: The Sharon Municipality Association

A dead whale washed up on a shore in Israel, February 2021Credit: Ilan Assayag


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