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Iran shipment of 3.5m barrels of oil approaching Syria

Syrians queue to fill their car with gasoline at a station in the capital Damascus on April 8, 2019 [LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images]
Syrians queue to fill their car with gasoline at a station in the capital Damascus on April 8, 2019 [LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images]

A shipment of 3.5 million barrels of oil sent by Iran is reportedly currently on its way to Syria to help with the fuel crisis in the country, following a long delay caused by the blockage at Egypt's Suez Canal last week.

According to the organisation TankerTrackers, a convoy of four tankers carrying the huge supply of Iranian oil was spotted passing through the area of the Suez Canal this morning. It predicted that they "may likely await a Russian navy escort" before they carry on their journey to the Syrian port of Baniyas.

The news of the tankers' journey out of the Suez Canal comes after it was reported last week that the Syrian regime was rationing fuel throughout the territories it controls due to a shortage in electricity and fuel which had caused power cuts and impacted public institutions. The primary reason for that ration was the delay in Iran's shipment of the oil.

The Suez Canal was finally unblocked last Monday as the Ever Given ship was freed after it ran aground a week earlier, allowing maritime traffic to once again return to normal and for the Iranian shipment to continue on to Syria almost a week late.

Such shipments to Syria flout international sanctions against the regime, enabling it to survive and circumvent pressure by the international community. Last month it was revealed that over the years of Tehran having sent similar shipments to the regime in Damascus, Israel had covertly hit many of the Iranian vessels using mines and other weapons, sometimes causing them to return to Iran due to damage caused.

OPINION: Was the Ever Given grounding accidental or intentional?

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AfricaEgyptEurope & RussiaIranIsraelMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyria
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