TankerTrackers.com has visual confirmation that an Iranian tanker is discharging petrol in Syria's Baniyas port which is destined for neighbouring Lebanon, Reuters reported the online oil shipment tracking service saying today.
"Unable to deliver directly by sea to Lebanon due to sanctions, the vessel went instead to Baniyas, Syria, for land transfer," the firm said on Twitter, referring to US economic sanctions on the government in Tehran. Syria is also under US sanctions, so has nothing to lose from receiving the oil.
It will require 1,310 trucks to transport the cargo to Lebanon, it added, estimating the cargo at 33,000 metric tonnes of gasoil.
BREAKING, VISUAL CONFIRMATION: The Iranian handysize tanker FAXON (9283758) is discharging 33,000 metric tons of gasoil. Unable to deliver directly by sea to Lebanon due to sanctions, the vessel went instead to Baniyas, Syria for land transfer. Shall require 1,310 truckloads. pic.twitter.com/Z2kL8wyuTE
— TankerTrackers.com, Inc. (@TankerTrackers) September 14, 2021
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, said yesterday that a first ship carrying Iranian fuel oil to help Lebanon through its financial crisis had docked in Syria on Sunday and the shipment should reach Lebanon by Thursday.
He added a second ship with fuel oil would arrive in the Syrian port of Baniyas in a few days, with a third and fourth, respectively carrying gasoline and fuel oil, also due.
Daily life has been almost paralysed as fuel dries up because Lebanon lacks the dollars to pay for it. The state-owned power company is generating only minimal electricity, leaving businesses and households almost entirely dependent on small, private generators that run on fuel oil.
A financial crisis has wiped 90 per cent off the value of the Lebanese pound since 2019, pushed food prices up by more than 550 per cent, and propelled three-quarters of the population into poverty. The World Bank has called it one of the deepest depressions of modern history.