Middle East

Syria: ‘terror blast’ causes temporary countrywide blackout

An explosion caused by a “terrorist attack” against a major gas pipeline in Syria has caused a temporary countrywide blackout.

Reporting on Monday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) cited Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ghanem as saying that the entire country was left without power overnight after the blast at the Arab Gas Pipeline that feeds the country’s southern power stations.

The al-Ikhbariya TV channel cited him as identifying the location of the blast as the stretch of the pipeline that runs between the towns of Ad Dumayr and Adra, northwest of the capital of Damascus.

“After an assessment of the situation, it was determined that the explosion that took place on the gas pipeline between Adra and Al-Dumayr had been caused by a terrorist attack,” the minister was quoted as saying.

Electricity Minister Muhammad Zuhair Kharboutli, however, said some power stations were eventually reconnected and power provided to vital infrastructure. By dawn, electricity was gradually returning to several provinces, he added.

This is not the first time incidents hit Syria’s gas system since 2011, when the Arab country found itself in the grip of rampant foreign-backed violence.

A major incident came in 2013, when foreign-backed militants shelled a gas pipeline, plunging much of the country into a similar blackout.

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