BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Bekaa residents protest over Syria-bound oil trucks

Syrian tanker trucks load fuel from a gas station in Karantina, Beirut, on Saturday Feb. 23, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Eleven Syrian tanker trucks loaded fuel Saturday morning from a gas station in Karantina, Beirut, as protestors in the Bekaa threatened to block their way to the border, security sources told The Daily Star.

Hundreds of residents, as well as a group of Muslim scholars and preachers, gathered at the entrance of the Bekaa town of Deir Zannoun in east Lebanon, holding flags of the Syrian revolution.

They vowed to block the road leading to the Masnaa border crossing and prevent the passage of the tankers once they reach the borders.

Similar protests broke out earlier this month in North Lebanon as residents blocked the way of trucks heading to the Arida border crossing.

Protesters say that they are against such trucks entering Syria because the fuel they load from Lebanon will go to the Syrian regime to help kill its people.

Lebanon’s Energy Ministry earlier denied that state refineries were exporting kerosene and red diesel to the war-torn country.

In a statement issue last week, the ministry described reports of oil and fuel smuggling into Syria as fabrications for purely political objectives.

Some oil companies have said that Lebanon has been exporting large volumes of fuel oil to Syria, noting that most of these shipments were being used by the Syrian army.

The companies have warned that such sales could anger the international community, which could apply sanctions on Lebanon and Lebanese banks.

But some legal experts have argued that the sales are legal as the Security Council has not prohibited Lebanon or any other country from conducting such business with the Syrian regime.

 

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