A nationwide electricity blackout is affecting Syria after a suspected terrorist attack targeted an oil pipeline in the Damascus region, Al Jazeera reports. The blast happened on Sunday evening and caused an electricity blackout that covered most of the country.
The Ikhbariya TV channel showed large plumes of smoke from a fire caused by the blast. There are no reported injuries from the explosion.
The news agency SANA reported that the Electricity Minister, Mohammad Kharboutli, has said the blast happened between the Al-Dhumayr and Adra regions of Damascus and caused a drop in gas supply to main power stations.
The Guardian reports that some power stations were quickly reconnected to provide power to key infrastructure such as hospitals. The pipeline in question supplies three key power stations in the south of the country. Power has been restored to several provinces at the time of writing.
The Oil Minister, Ali Ghanem suggested to the media that the blast was a suspected terrorist attack, although he elaborated no further, reports the Guardian. The U.S. envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, claimed the attack “beared all the hallmarks of ISIS,” although the U.S. is “still looking into it,” reports the Jerusalem Post.
The JP reports that a similar situation occurred in 2013, when much of Syria lost power after shelling hit a key gas pipeline.
The pipeline hit by the blast is a part of a large system of energy infrastructure that connects Syria, Egypt and Jordan known as The Arab Gas Pipeline.
Infrastructure is often targeted by ISIS in Syria, so the claims made by Syrian ministers and the U.S. envoy are not unfounded.
Syrian infrastructure has been hit hard in the latest stages of the conflict, with Al Jazeera reporting that in December, coordinated drone attacks targeted three government-run oil and gas facilities in Syria.
The Syrian people once again have to survive with no electricity in the midst of a decade long civil war.
When will enough be enough?