Iranian oil tankers carrying oil to Lebanon through Syria were attacked by unknown forces late on Tuesday, November 8, Iranian Press Tv reported. The number of casualties is not clear.
According to The Cradle, at least 15 people were killed in the attack. The identity of the people killed, however, has not been verified. The blast caused by the oil tankers also caused massive damage to civilian infrastructure in the area.
Some reports claimed the attacks were carried out by “unknown aircraft” which targeted the Iraqi militia camps near the town of Al-Bukamal. According to Iran’s official news source IRIB, the attacks were carried out by using “Israeli drones.” Similar claims were made by Al-Mayadeen Arabic.
The Iranian convoy of 22 tankers was passing through Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province when the attack happened. The Iranian government claimed the tankers were carrying oil to Lebanon. According to an Iraqi official quoted by Al Jazeera, at least 10 of those trucks came under attack when they crossed into Syria from Al-Qaim/Al-Bukamal border crossing.
Some Twitter handles and reports had earlier claimed that the attacks were carried out by the US forces who have a base in the region in Al-Tanf and also provide support to anti Syrian government forces.
Denying those claims, army Major Rachael L Jaffcoat said that US forces did not conduct any such operation on the said dates, Al-Jazeera reported.
Tonight’s airstrikes on Al Bukamal, Iraqi-Syria border was NOT a US strike, a senior US official confirms.
Centcom is investigating the attack at the moment. There are reports of civilian casualties
— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) November 8, 2022
Israel has been carrying out such attacks inside Syria for years now, citing self-defense needs. It claims that such attacks target Iranian military bases and supply routes to Syria. Both Iran and Syria have denied the presence of such bases. Israeli strikes often target civilian areas, killing innocents and causing massive damages to infrastructure such as the Damascus airport.
Iran has been supplying oil to Lebanon through land routes which pass through Iran, Iraq, and Syria for months now. The supply of oil through the land routes is per a tripartite agreement between the countries and does not violate any international law.
Iranian oil provides a lifeline to Lebanon which has been undergoing a severe economic crisis for several years now. The recent rise in the fuel prices has led to a further deterioration of conditions. Lack of oil imports has caused frequent power cuts and unavailability of fuel to most Lebanese.