UK Marines in Gibraltar detains supertanker headed for Syria

UK Marines in Gibraltar detains supertanker headed for Syria
1 min read
04 July, 2019
EU sanctions prohibit exports of oil to Syria leading to the British navy sting.
The Royal Marines detained a tanker suspected of heading to Banias Refinery [Getty]

The UK navy on Wednesday detained an oil tanker suspected of heading to Syria, in breach of European Union sanctions, the government of Gibraltar said.

Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies, and the Royal Navy detained the super tanker on Wednesday morning, the BBC reported.

There was reason to believe the tanker, the Grace 1, was carrying crude oil towards the Banias Refinery in Syria, which is subject to EU sanctions, authorities said.

The EU first imposed sanctions on Syria in May 2011, just months after the beginning of the country's revolution that soon turned into a prolonged civil war after President Bashar al-Assad's regime instigated a brutal crackdown on civilian demonstrators. 

The sanctions restrict the Syrian economy in response to violence against civilians, as well as targeting regime officials with travel bans and freezes on assets.

The export of oil and gas for refining is also banned under an EU embargo on Syria's oil industry first imposed in 2012, as well as a range of other measures including bans on oil imports and exports.