Syrian oil spill floods Eastern Mediterranean; could reach Cyprus by Wednesday

Syrian oil spill floods Eastern Mediterranean; could reach Cyprus by Wednesday
Planet Labs satellite image via AFP, CNN

[Ed. – Obviously much food for speculation here, as an oil spill from a power plant in the Baniyas oil refinery has a creeping but potentially significant impact on the Assad regime’s ability to fuel its operations.  Syria has spilled a lot of oil into the Med in the last decade.  The environmental impact is of course to be deplored.]

An oil spill that originated from Syria’s largest refinery is growing and spreading across the Mediterranean Sea, and could reach the island of Cyprus by Wednesday, Cypriot authorities have said.

Syrian officials said last week that a tank filled with 15,000 tons of fuel had been leaking since August 23 at a thermal power plant on the Syrian coastal city of Baniyas. They said they had been able to bring it under control.

Satellite imagery analysis by Orbital EOS now indicates that the oil spill was larger than originally thought, covering around 800 square kilometres (309 square miles) — an area around the same size as New York City. The company told CNN Tuesday evening that the oil slick was around 7 kilometers (4 miles) from the Cypriot coast.

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