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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs