Exclusive: Assad's secret oil lifeline: Iraqi crude from Egypt




 
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Exclusive: Assad's secret oil lifeline: Iraqi crude from Egypt
 
December 23rd, 2013  
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Topic: Exclusive: Assad's secret oil lifeline: Iraqi crude from Egypt


Exclusive: Assad's secret oil lifeline: Iraqi crude from Egypt
By Julia Payne LONDON (Reuters) - The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has received substantial imports of Iraqi crude oil from an Egyptian port in the last nine months, shipping and payments documents show, part of an under-the-radar trade that has kept his military running despite Western sanctions. Assad's government has been blacklisted by Western powers for its role in the two-and-a-half year civil war, forcing Damascus to rely on strategic ally Iran - itself the target of Western sanctions over its nuclear program - as its main supplier of crude oil. A Reuters examination based on previously undisclosed commercial documents about Syrian oil purchases shows however that Iran is no longer acting alone. Dozens of shipping and payment documents viewed by Reuters show that millions of barrels of crude delivered to Assad's government on Iranian ships has actually come from Iraq, through Lebanese and Egyptian trading companies.




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