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The New Arab

Iranian oil fuels Syrian regime’s war machine

Iran has sent ten oil tankers to supply Syrian with oil this year [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 June, 2015

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Analysis of tanker traffic by Bloomberg indicates Iran is supplying the Syrian regime with oil supplies critical for its war effort.
Iran has supplied the regime of its embattled ally Bashar al-Assad with up to ten million barrels of oil so far this year, according to Bloomberg.

Syria's ally has sent ten tankers, each with a capacity of one million barrels, to the port of Baniyas on the regime-held coast of Syria this year, a Bloomberg analysis of tanker traffic found.

That means Iran has supplied the Syrian regime with almost 60,000 barrels of oil a day this year.

"Iran is basically fuelling the entire country," Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington told Bloomberg.

Iran is also likely to be supporting the regime financially to the tune of $6 billion a year, according to UN Envoy for Syria Steffan de Mistura.

Iranian oil is likely to be fuelling Assad’s military, engaged in a bitter war now in its fifth year, which has seen Syria’s economy largely destroyed and forced 12 million out of the country’s pre-war population of 22 million out of their homes.

Syria is unlikely to be paying Iran for the oil it is providing, Cordesman argued, as it doesn’t have the money to pay.

Syrian oil production has collapsed from 400,000 a day before the war began in 2011 to around 20,000 barrels a day according to a recent US Department of Energy estimate.

Many of its oil fields are now in the hands of the Islamic State group.

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