Lebanon: NGO, Iran oil arrives in Syrian port of Banyas

'Will be smuggled by land to Lebanon by Hezbollah'

09 September, 17:20

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, SEPT 9 - Two Iranian oil tankers carrying oil and other fuel destined for Lebanon on the request of pro-Iranian Hezbollah docked at the Syrian port of Banyas in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the cargo will be smuggled by land to Lebanon by the same Lebanese Shiite militants, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

    It said two Iranian cargo ships arrived at the port of Banyas, as announced in August by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

    According to Middle East analysts, the two ships transited the Suez Canal, turning off their transponders to avoid being intercepted by Israeli and US radar, a claim that cannot be independently verified on the ground.

    The Lebanese government has long been working with the United States to respect the regime of sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran and Syria.

    The Lebanese military, formally working in the fight against smuggling along the Syrian-Lebanese border, is directly supported by the United States, which in recent days allocated other tens of millions of dollars in aid to the armed forces in Beirut.

    Hezbollah is allied both with Tehran and Damascus, but is an integral part of Lebanese institutions, with ministers in the outgoing government, MPs in parliament, and officials in central and local institutions.

    Lebanon has been dealing since 2019 with its worse financial and economic crisis in recent decades.

    SOHR said the Iranian fuel will not enter Lebanon from Syria legally because this would require a formal endorsement from authorities in Beirut.

    Instead, Hezbollah, which has been in Syria for years, will transport the cargo over land, in the region of Homs that borders the eastern Lebanese Bekaa Valley.

    Sources said the passage will take place through close collaboration between Hezbollah and the 4th Division of the Syrian Army, commanded by generals who are very close to Syrian President Bashar al Assad and directly backed by Iranian forces in Syria.(ANSAmed).

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