Fire at Syrian oil refinery extinguished after leakage

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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, firefighters put out a fire at the Homs Oil Refinery, in the central province of Homs, Syria, Sunday, May. 9, 2021. The fire came amid a series of mysterious attacks on vessels and oil facilities in Syria over the past months. The war-torn country has been suffering from fuel shortages in recent months. (SANA via AP)

DAMASCUS – Firefighters extinguished a blaze Sunday in a distillation unit at one of Syria’s two oil refineries, Syrian state TV reported.

No one was hurt, but the fire caused some damage to the facility, a refinery official said. The TV named the cause of the fire as crude oil leakage from one of the pumping stations at the Homs Oil Refinery in the central province of Homs.

The fire came amid a series of mysterious attacks on vessels and oil facilities in Syria over the past months. The war-torn country has been suffering from fuel shortages in recent months.

The head of Homs Oil Refinery, Suleiman Mohammed, told state TV that the distillation unit that caught fire is one of four at the refinery.

In addition to the refinery in Homs, Syria has another one near the coastal town of Banias. Both are government-run and operating.

Syria’s oil resources are mostly outside of government controlled areas.

Syria controls some small oil and gas fields in the country’s center but most of the country’s large fields in the east are controlled by U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters. This has made Damascus reliant on Iran for fuel.

The U.S. Treasury sanctions have targeted a network that spanned Syria, Iran and Russia responsible for shipping oil to the Syrian government.