A key gas pipeline, damaged in an attack claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group, has been repaired and power supply in Damascus fully restored, following a brief but widespread blackout, according to Syrian state media.
The repairs were completed and gas supply fully restored to the Deir Ali power station, the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources said in a Saturday night statement, less than a day after the act of sabotage.
Several photos circulating online showed a big crater, and repair crews working to fix the crippled pipe.
ISIS Daesh claimed responsibility for an attack on a gas pipeline at Deir Ali power station in Syria 🇸🇾Earlier, Assad’s electricity minister said the attack had led to an electricity outage that hit the capital Damascus, its outskirts and other areashttps://t.co/fX9RKqL1yNpic.twitter.com/vdvIGceKPe
— Saad Abedine 🤬😷🤟🏼 (@SaadAbedine) September 18, 2021
Earlier, IS-affiliated (Islamic State, formerly ISIS) social media accounts bragged about jihadists setting up booby traps on the pipe and two power towers, causing ‘massive’ damage as part of their ‘economic’ warfare against the Syrian state.
The attack initially caused serious disruption, as it targeted the key pipeline that feeds the country’s most modern thermal power plant with natural gas.
The outage affected Damascus and the surrounding region, as well as some other areas around Syria. Several other power stations soon compensated for the shutdown at Deir Ali, but authorities were forced to continue “severe” electricity rationing through Saturday, until the repairs were finished.
Damascus has reported a number of sabotage attempts and terrorist attacks against its critical infrastructure over the years, including a similar incident at a gas pipeline on the outskirts of the capital city in August 2020, which also triggered major outages across Syria. The gas pipeline in question had previously been attacked on at least five different occasions.
Syria gets most of its electricity from natural gas and oil-fueled power plants, but much of the deposits remain outside of government control. There are an estimated 900 or more US troops currently in Syria – both in the southern enclave of Al-Tanf and in the northeast, where they are “securing” oil wells and helping the Kurdish-dominated SDF operate a de facto independent government. Their presence violates international law and the government in Damascus is opposed to it, but Washington insists they are there to fight the IS terrorists.