Russians Incinerate an Oil Market, Kurds Restore Sales of Syrian Oil to Syria

Ballistic missiles cause an oil fire that blazed for 19 hours

Syria is the target of a punishing US-EU economic embargo and as a result suffers from extreme fuel shortages. Meanwhile, more than half of Syria’s own oil fields are held by its secessionist Kurds who enjoy US political and military backing.

Some of the oil from Arab-populated but Kurdish-controlled eastern Syria ends up sold in Northern Iraq, but the majority is sold in Syria. Both to government areas and to the Islamist- held north (from where it often continues on to Turkey).

The Americans never liked Kurdish sales to government areas (seeing how they go against the US embargo) and after renewed Kurdish-government tension in NE Syria (where government exclaves in Hasaka and Quamishli exist in a sea of Kurdish-held territory) oil deliveries to government areas stopped earlier this year in late January.

Deliveries did not continue even after Russian mediation the Kurds and the government exclaves seemed to patch things up.

But Kurdish deliveries to areas under the control of Turkish-backed rebels continued. (Ironically this meant delivering oil to the same rebels who had joined in the Turkish capture of the Kurdish-populated Afrin region in NW Syria and the permanent displacement of Afrin Kurds by the many thousands.)

Since earlier this month Kurdish deliveries to Syrian government areas have been restored.

One thing that took place just before the oil supply was restored was that multiple “Tochka” ballistic missiles incinerated an oil market in the rebel-held north, where oil from Kurdish-held Syrian oil fields continued to be transported to, even after the embargo on government-held areas.

Perhaps these two events are not connected. Another possibility is that the Syrians asked the Russians for help with showing the Kurds that if they stopped selling to the government then neither would they be selling to the rebels.

1 Comment
  1. GMC says

    Good shot – gotta keep the thieves in the Hot seat – literally. Thanks A E

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