Rebels Attack Oil, Gas Pipelines in Eastern Syria

Strikes Add to Concern About Energy Security in War-Torn Nation

by Jason Ditz, October 18, 2012

Syrian rebels attacked a pair of key oil and gas pipelines today in the Deir al-Zour Province, two of the most serious sabotages of the nation’s energy infrastructure to date. Syrian state media claimed the attacks came after a clash in which dozens of rebels were slain.

The attack on the gas pipeline occurred in the Kurdish dominated northeast, not far from the Iraqi border. Officials say they expect to begin repairs soon, but how easily they will be able to safely repair in a rebel-heavy region is unclear.

The rebels hold a number of key areas around Syria’s oil and gas corridor, and between the attacks and the growing tensions with Turkey there is concern that the civil war could cut off yet more energy supplies from global markets at a time when supplies are already short because of the Iran embargo.

So far no rebel group has claimed credit for today’s attacks, which state media said caused millions of dollars in damages and forced the temporary shutoff of one of the nation’s largest gas pipelines to extinguish a fire.

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