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While Russia’s military and civilians celebrated the May 9th Victory Day, Syrians faced a difficult day, especially when it comes to Damascus’ oil business.
It all began with a fire breaking out at Homs oil refinery in central Syria. It was dubbed an accident.
According to SANA, the fire broke out at the refinery’s Distillation Unit 100. The workers and local firefighters were able to contain and put down the fire within a short period of time.
There were no casualties, however, two people did suffer burns.
The Homs refinery is Syria’s main crude oil processing facility. It was targeted on a number of occasions over last ten years.
It is not wild speculation to consider that this was, too, a case of sabotage. It could be militants, or it could be Israel, attempting to punish Damascus. After all, it received large amounts of Iranian crude oil in the weeks leading up to the attack.
Idle accusations such as this could just be speculations, but there are other corroborative events.
On the afternoon of May 9th, two explosions rocked a tanker anchored off the coast of Syria’s Banias, where the country’s main oil terminal is located.
The explosions were heard all over Banias. Locals shared footage showing two dark clouds of smoke rising from the tanker.
No fire was seen, and the issue was blamed on an engine malfunction. The tanker was identified by observers as the Panama-flagged WISDOM, which has been anchored off the coast for a while now.
Previously, on April 24th, the WISDOM was rocked by another explosion. Initially, the incident was blamed on a drone attack. The official version was then reported as an accident, with three Syrian sailors losing their lives in it.
It is possible that both the fire at the oil refinery, as well as the explosion rocking an oil tanker at Syria’s main oil terminal could all be accident. However, it is incredibly suspicious that they happened on the same day, just hours from each other.
These incidents may both be related to Iran, as it is one of the premier oil suppliers to Damascus, while the US and others have occupied most of Syria’s oil fields.
Indeed, on May 7th, a massive fire broke out in the Iranian city of Bushehr.
Iran’s only functioning nuclear power plant is located there. It is one of Iran’s’ main oil exporting ports. The city also houses sensitive facilities for the Iranian Navy.
If incidents in Syria are mostly the result of militant attacks, incidents in Iran, and especially on key infrastructure, are almost always blamed on Israel. These incidents, however, appear quite similar in nature.