Multiple major missile strikes reportedly on a convoy of oil tanker trucks and a refinery in northern Syria lit up the night sky on Friday. Initially there was confusion as to who was behind the devastating attack which obliterated multiple dozens of oil tanker trucks.
Stunning video of massive fireballs near the towns of al-Bab and Jarablus, close to the Turkish border, circulated widely on social media with contradictory accounts of just who launched the attack. However, sources seem to be in agreement that the initial explosions were so large it had to be the result of ballistic missile strikes.
This led to accusations that either the Russian military or the Syrian government was behind it in retaliation to halt convoys of “stolen oil” taken from Syrian national territory.
Damascus and Russia have long condemned a Turkish “land grab” along the northern border, as well as US occupation of the country’s oil and gas rich northeast Deir Ezzor and al-Hasakah regions.
“A source in the Turkish military, which controls swaths of northwest Syria where Turkish troops have a presence, said missile attacks had caused the blasts, which also wounded 11 people,” Al Jazeera reports in the attack aftermath.
There’s yet to be any confirmation or claim of responsibility either from Russia’s Defense Ministry or from the Assad government.
And crucially the report observed that “Oil installations in Turkey-controlled parts of Aleppo have come under repeated attack in recent months although Moscow and the Syrian regime have not claimed responsibility.”
Washington has also been conspicuously silent concerning the major attack. If indeed it turns out to have been a Russian or Syrian Army operation involving ballistic missiles, it will mark a hugely provocative ‘signaling’ to the White House that it must reverse course on its ‘oil and gas occupation’ in northeast Syria.