Three refineries were attacked simultaneously in the city of Homs north of Damascus, using drones, in what was called by the mineral resources and oil ministry in Syria as “terrorist activities”
The refineries’ manager in Homs, Haythem Massucar, has said that two refineries and two gas facilities in the area were attacked early Saturday morning.
Fire fighters managed to quickly douse the fire which broke out at the facilities.
The Syrian Oil Ministry reported on its Facebook regarding the occurence of “systematic terror attacks on three of [its] oil facilities” which includes refineries in the Homs area, and gas stations located central Homs and the “Rian” gas station, located east of the region. The Ministry pointed out that “the attack caused damage to several of the production units” and mentioned that fire fighters intervened in putting out the fires, while “technical teams have begun working to renew activities”. Syrian State Television played videos showing fire fighters working in the middle of the night, to douse the flames in one of the three facilities.
The Official Syrian News Agency quoted the oil minister Ali Ganam saying: “The attack shut down a number of production units in the three facilities,” and added that “the technical teams and the fire fighters manage to take control of the fires in the first few hours”. In his estimation, the supply of cooking gas will not be hurt.
While the official media and oil ministry did not provide details about the attack and how it happened, the Syrian “Al-Marsad” for human rights manager, Rami Abed Al Rahman said that the three facilities were damaged by drones. According to his estimation, ISIS fighters in the Syrian Desert were behind the attack.
Hours before the attack in the three Homs facilities, Al-Marsad reported an attack by ISIS members on the “Al-Hil” gas facility Saturday night, which was guarded by Syrian regime forces, in eastern Homs. According to Al-Marsad”, the attack killed 13 regime soldiers and four civilians who were working at the facility. ISIS occasionally pursues such strikes against Syrian regime strongholds and power stations across Syria.
The oil and gas markets have been suffering significant loses estimated to be as high as 74 billion dollars due to the civil war, which began in 2011. In 2017, after regime forces restored their control of the refineries in the Homs area from the hands of ISIS, production has grown somewhat, although still not enough to meet the needs of Syrian civilians.
Meanwhile, the fighting in Idlib in northern Syria continues. UN sources have reported that dozens of people have been displaced from their homes from the south and east of Idlib near the northern border with Turkey. This is after a series of aerial strikes by the Russian Air Force and the Syrian regime, whom have continued to drop explosive barrels on civilians, in addition to continuous artillery fire. According to opposition sources, at least 80 people have died between Thursday and Friday.