DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An attack with explosive devices laid along a natural gas pipeline southeast of Syria’s capital knocked out power in parts of the country before it was quickly restored, the electricity minister said Saturday.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the latest incidence of sabotage targeting Syria’s oil and gas infrastructure. During the 10-year conflict, Syria’s oil and gas infrastructure was subject to repeated attacks and many oil fields now lay outside of government-controlled areas.
The attack southeast of Damascus late Friday targeted a pipeline that feeds nearly 50% of Syria’s power plants, according to Electricity Minister Ghassan al-Zamel, whose comments were carried by state media.
He said the attack caused a drop in the transmission pressure, affecting different power plants in the country.
Maintenance work began early Saturday and power was restored to all provinces, al-Zamel said. But he warned that rationing would be “severe” until all repair work was completed.
A statement from the Oil Ministry called it a “terrorist attack that targeted the Arab Natural Gas pipeline” in the Haran al-Awamid area in southern Syria.
The pipeline is part of a transregional gas export pipeline that used to bring natural gas from Egypt to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The exports stopped before Syria’s war, but the pipeline has been integrated into the country’s grid.