News / Europe

Turkish Company Supplies Diesel to Syria

Residents block the road and wave Syrian opposition flags to protest what they call Lebanese shipments of diesel to the Syrian government a the Masnaa Border Crossing on April 28, 2013.
Residents block the road and wave Syrian opposition flags to protest what they call Lebanese shipments of diesel to the Syrian government a the Masnaa Border Crossing on April 28, 2013.
Reuters
Turkey has become an unlikely new source of vital diesel for the Syrian government, according to shipping documents and sources.
 
Private Turkish oil company Aves, from the Mediterranean port city of Mersin, has loaded seven cargoes of ultra-low sulphur diesel in April destined for Syria's state-controlled port of Banias.
 
Turkey is not subject to EU sanctions against Syria, however, the trade is a potential embarrassment for Ankara — one of Damascus' most outspoken critics.
 
The Turkish foreign ministry declined to comment on the specific matter but reiterated its position on the Assad regime.
 
"Turkey's position on Syrian regime's brutality against its own people has been made obvious and Turkey would not be able to ignore any support or aid efforts to this situation,'' a foreign ministry official said.
 
Aves, specializing in sunflower seed oil and diesel according to its web site, confirmed the trade but declined to comment further.
 
Port documents show Aves as the shipper of seven small sized diesel cargoes which between April 7 and 21 with the discharge port marked as Banias.
 
Trading sources active in the Mediterranean oil market said Aves sold the diesel on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, a form of deal that excludes delivery arrangements and which therefore could allow it to claim it has no information on its destination.
 
"Usually these companies know where their cargo is going to," a senior trader with an oil major said. "But since they sell FOB, the responsibility is blurry after the cargo is loaded."
 
Shipping sources and traders say the involvement of small private firms makes it almost impossible to track and control shipments as some of them could be used as intermediaries for the blacklisted Syrian oil entity Mahrukat.
 
A shipping source familiar with Syria trade said since Mahrukat authorized the private firms to trade on its behalf there was usually an intermediary.
 
Fuel flows into Syria had been at a standstill following a European Union ban in early 2012 blacklisting the state oil trading and distribution firms to stop gasoil, which can be used to run heavy machinery, from reaching President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
 
Fuel imports resumed strongly this year after Syria granted private firms the right to buy fuel on its behalf. The trade has been largely handled by Greek and Italian firms defying EU sanctions and taking advantage of weak sanctions enforcement.
 
The use of private firms to import oil is more successful than Syria's earlier attempt to create a new central body that was not blacklisted. The EU said at the time any dealings with new entities "could be considered as a circumvention."

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs