A cloud of black smoke covered Syria’s flashpoint city of Homs Thursday morning after a major oil pipeline exploded. Predictably, authorities and opposition activists are blaming each other for the blast.
The pipeline carried oil towards a refinery in Homs, which is Syria’s third largest city. It’s the third pipeline to explode since the beginning of the popular uprising in the country in March. The flames reportedly took more than four hours to put out.
The attack comes on the heels of the European Union’s decision to place an embargo on Syrian oil and blacklist the country’s oil companies. Oil represents 95 percent of the Syria’s exports, with sales making up one-fifth of its revenue.
Video published on YouTube by syriapioneer.
“We already don’t have enough heating gas for the winter months. Now, the situation is going to get worse”
Mona is a student living in Homs.
The explosion happened at about 11 a.m. It took place near the neighbourhood of Bab Amr, in an area called Houdaydat Al ‘Assi. Plumes of black smoke quickly covered the city.Not surprisingly, a TV crew from Al Dunya [a privately-owned station with close ties to the government] was on the scene. I think they even got there before the firemen. In their report, they showed mortar shells and said that multiple attacks had been planned, but that only this one had succeeded. They accused ‘terrorist groups’ for planning the attack, which they do any time there’s an attack these days.This version is all lies. Given how many security checkpoints are located in that area [the first video shows a tank parked not far from the explosion site], I don’t see how ‘terrorists’ could have carried out this attack. We already don’t have enough heating gas for the winter. Now, the situation is going to get worse.This is collective punishment on the part of the authorities against the citizens of Homs. It allows them to do two things: one, they’re making us suffer during the cold months. Two, they’re once again accusing the opposition of resorting to violence. On television, they said that the National Guard is going to come to Homs. I think this attack was just a pretext to bring them in.”