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Syria 'rationing' fuel as Suez Canal jam persists

March 28, 2021 at 1:32 pm

The container ship, the Ever Given, is seen from a village near the Suez Canal on March 28, 2021 in Suez, Egypt [Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images]

The Syrian regime is ‘rationing’ fuel as shipments are delayed due to the blockage of Egypt’s Suez, The New Arab reported.

The large container ship Ever Given has been jammed diagonally between across the Suez Canal since Tuesday, blocking off both lanes of traffic, and throwing around 12% of world trade into chaos.

This incident has caused delays to imports of oil to Syria, with the country still waiting on a shipment due to arrive last Friday.

In a statement, Syria’s oil ministry said on Saturday that the blockage“has impacted oil imports to Syria and slowed arrival of a ship carrying fuel and oil products” from government ally Iran”.

It continued: “The ministry is rationing the distribution of available oil products” to assure the continuity of essential services, such as bakeries and hospitals.”

According to Syria’s oil minister Bassam Tomeh, the shipment of oil may well be redirected to reroute around the Cape of Good Hope to reach its destination; a far long and more expensive route that other commercial ships have opted for rather than waiting for the ship Ever Given to be freed.

The Suez Canal was completed in 1869 in a joint French-British project under the Suez Canal Company despite protestations and opposition from the British state at the time.

President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the vital trade route in 1956, and it is now controlled by the Suez Canal Authority of Egypt.