While Syria’s oil resources are modest compared to some of its neighbours, they have been sufficient to guarantee the country’s energy self-sufficiency, and to earn Damascus a modest income from exports. Since 2011, much of these resources have been damaged or looted, first by jihadists and then by the US and their Kurdish allies.
90 percent of Syria’s oil resources are under the control of Washington and its allies, Oil Minister Bassam Touma has revealed.
“Americans and their allies are targeting the Syrian oil wealth and its tankers just like pirates,” Touma said, speaking to Syrian News Channel on Thursday, his remarks translated into English by PressTV.
“What has happened all through the war in Syria has not happened in any country, in terms of preventing us from tapping our wealth and at the same time stopping basic commodities from reaching our country,” Touma added.
The minister estimated direct and indirect damage to Syria’s oil sector of over $92 billion, and stressed that the sector has been targeted deliberately by the country’s enemies because it is a key source of income for the country’s economy.
Touma said Damascus is looking at increasing the exploration of oil reserves in the country’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean, but admitted that such exploration is expensive and time consuming, and requires “calm and stable logistical conditions.”