Russia bombs oil facilities in Syria’s north

jarabalus

A March 5 missile attack on an oil refinery at al-Hamaran, near Jarabulus in Syria’s rebel-held northern pocket, was launched from Russian warships off the country’s coast, according to a monitoring group, the¬†Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least one person is known to have been killed in the the three-missile strike, which also hit a nearby market, possibly as “collateral damage.” In a similar strike on Feb. 10,¬†rockets fired from the Russian military base at Hmeimim, in Syria’s coastal Latakia province,¬†struck an oil refinery¬†in the town of Tarhin, also within the rebel-held pocket of Aleppo province. The pocket is in the hands of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), and the strikes appear aimed at preventing SNA forces from resuming oil production in the region for black-market export to Turkey.

The Turkish-backed rebel factions now organized as the SNA took the area from ISIS in the 2016 Operation Euphrates Shield. (DPA, Jerusalem Post, Al Jazeera)

Under a Moscow-Damascus deal announced in 2018, Russia is to have exclusive rights to exploit hydrocarbons in Syria in exchange for military support to the Bashar Assad regime.

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