The Collapse of Oil Depot Aggravates Fuel Crisis in Syria

Airstrikes destroyed oil depots in Idlib. The destruction of this depot also will exacerbate Syria's winter fuel crisis.

Airstrikes destroy oil depots in Idlib. (MEE/Izzelddin Kasim)

ACTNews, IDLIB – On Wednesday (2/16/2022), at least four people were killed, and three others were wounded after the Syrian government targeted a major fuel market in opposition-controlled Idlib province, according to residents and the Syria Civil Defence, otherwise known as the White Helmets.

There was no special team dispatched to extinguish the fire. Residents in the area were waiting for the fire to go out on its own. They were fearful of another airstrike.

"The fire is big, and the flames are blazing, so at first I with another people couldn't get closer than fifty meters from the [site] to try to find survivors," a resident told MEE.

"There was a house and a car burning. The dead are civilians working on farmland around the place," he added.

In Syria, a depot fuel is an industrial facility that stores petroleum. The destruction of this depot fuel has the potential to exacerbate Syria's fuel crisis, which has hit several areas.

Many internally displaced people suffer from hypothermia during the winter because they cannot warm themselves by lighting a fire. They do not have any fuel at all. Some refugees rely solely on the trash and old clothing to light their fires.

Idlib province is home to around three million people, half of whom are displaced, according to the UN, as a result of the decade-long conflict.

Since the beginning of the year, the White Helmets say they have responded to more than 85 air and artillery attacks in the country, which have killed 37 and wounded 80 civilians.[]