An Iranian ship carrying fuel for crisis-hit Lebanon has entered Syria’s territorial waters, the Beirut-based al-Akhbar daily reports.
The daily reported Thursday that the ship would unload the fuel cargo at a Syrian port, from where it would be transferred to Lebanon via tankers.
Informed sources said two other Iranian ships will deliver their fuel to Lebanon through the same mechanism, adding that the fourth vessel will probably depart Iran soon.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam news network reported that the Iranian fuel tanker, which had entered Syrian waters on Wednesday night, would dock in Baniyas port sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Lebanon has been mired since late 2019 in a deep financial crisis that has caused the Lebanese pound to lose around 90 percent of its value to the dollar.
Severe fuel shortages and wide-scale power cuts have paralyzed the country, which is also grappling with a political deadlock.
The US has exacerbated the crisis by imposing a siege on Lebanon in a bid to force the formation of a Western-friendly administration there.
On August 19, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced that a ship carrying Iranian fuel will set sail for Lebanon within hours, warning Israel and the US that the resistance group would regard the vessels carrying Iranian fuel as part of the “Lebanese soil.”
The US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, claimed that Lebanon did not need Iranian tankers, citing what she called “a whole bunch” of fuel ships off the coast waiting to unload.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Iran’s fuel delivery risked sanctions being imposed on the Mediterranean state.