Syria’s foreign minister on Sunday blamed Israel for a series of covert attacks that have taken place over the past year on oil tankers in the region that were traveling from Iran to Syria.
“There should be deterrence to Israeli attacks on ships. The Israeli governments and arrogant Israeli leaders must understand that these attacks cannot continue with Israel not paying a price,” said Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV.
In March, a report from The Wall Street Journal said that since 2019, Israel had attacked at least a dozen ships that were bound for Syria, most of which were Iranian or carrying Iranian fuel. Since both Iran and Syria are under heavy US sanctions, the two countries are natural trading partners. The US is also occupying areas of northeast Syria, where most of the country’s oil resources are, making Damascus more reliant on Tehran.
On top of the attacks on cargo bound for Syria, Israel is also constantly bombing the country. The US and Israeli pressure on Damascus is strangling the Syrian economy and preventing the country from rebuilding after 10 years of war. According to the UN, the number of Syrians that are close to starvation is at 12.4 million, or 60 percent of the population.