AMMAN Nov 6 An explosion hit the main oil
pipeline feeding a refinery on the western edge of the Syrian
city of Homs on Tuesday during fighting between rebels and army
forces in the area, opposition activists said.
Video footage, which could not be independently verified,
showed thick smoke rising from the pipeline which links eastern
oil fields with the Homs refinery, one of two in the country.
"The pipeline exploded overnight when fighting broke out
after the Free Syrian Army launched concerted attacks against
army roadblocks in the area," Nader al-Husseini, an opposition
campaigner, said from Homs.
The pipeline, located in a farmland area called al-Basatin,
has been hit several times before, with both sides accusing the
other of sabotaging it. President Bashar al-Assad has moved
armoured units to Homs to try and contain the armed revolt in
the city, 140 kms (90 miles) north of Damascus.
With Western sanctions imposed last year on Syria's oil
sector, production has fallen sharply. Economic decline and loss
of state control over many parts of the country have curbed
production of oil products and caused severe shortages.
Citing official data, the Syria Report news website said
local consumption of gasoline declined 12 percent in the first
eight months of 2012. State supply deliveries of fuel oil fell
24 percent and heating oil dropped 23 percent, it said.