Syria gas pipeline hit by 'terrorist' sabotage attack
The official news agency SANA denounced what it called a "terrorist act", without identifying the suspected perpetrators.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, a bomb blast targeted the pipeline in the Badiya desert, where the Islamic State jihadist group is present.
The pipeline transports gas from the government-controlled Shaer field, the country's largest, in the central province of Homs to the Ebla plant, according to SANA.
"The gas pipeline... was put out of service by a terrorist act," the agency said, adding that "technical teams are working to repair it in the coming hours."
The Badiya desert is the scene of regular clashes between regime forces and IS, which maintains a strike capability despite losing all the territory it once held in Syria.
Last month, an underwater pipeline in Banias, Syria’s only oil port, was targeted by “terrorists linked to foreign states”, Syrian regime media reported.
The Ministry for Petroleum and Mineral Resources said that divers working for the Syrian Company for Oil Transport had found six pipes which had been blown up by explosives.
The damaged pipes were shown in a video released by the ministry on its Facebook page.
In 2016, the Russian military took over the administration of Banias oil port from the Assad regime.
The country's eight-year war has seen the regime lose control of key oil fields and caused state hydrocarbon revenues to plummet by billions of dollars.
The government of President Bashar al-Assad has been slapped with a raft of Western economic sanctions, including an oil embargo the United States and its partners sometimes enforce militarily.
But with key military backing from Russia, President Bashar al-Assad's forces have retaken large parts of Syria from rebels and jihadists since 2015, and now control around 60 percent of the country.
Numerous rounds of UN-led peace talks have failed to end a war that has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since erupting in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.
In recent years, a parallel negotiations track led by Russia and rebel backer Turkey has taken precedence.
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