Concern as Syrian oil slick spreads across Mediterranean

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Authorities in Cyprus are monitoring an oil slick that originated from a power plant on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and could soon affect the island.

Syrian state media said last week there had been a spill from the plant, which is inside the Baniyas oil refinery.

Satellite imagery showed that the slick spread north along the Syrian coast before moving westwards towards Cyprus.

Syria’s government said last Tuesday that there had been an accidental leak from a fuel tank at the Baniyas thermal power station, which is in a part of the war-torn country under its control.

The following day, Syria’s state-run Sana news agency reported that the slick had reached the town of Jableh, about 20km (12 miles) to the north.

Teams had begun cleaning up the oil from rocky areas of the coast, applying sand to soak up the fuel as well as machines using suction, it said.

Photo: A handout satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies on 01 September 2021 shows oil pooling around a set of oil storage tanks at the Baniyas power plant and spilling into the Mediterranean and the Syrian coast toward Cyprus, in Syria, 28 August 2021 (issued 01 September 2021). EPA-EFE/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

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