U.S. also denies Iraqi oil to Lebanon

Special to World
Monday, April 14, 2003

ABU DHABI The United States has halted the flow of Iraqi oil to Lebanon.

Arab diplomatic sources said the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq shut down the Iraqi-Syrian oil pipeline that extended from Kirkuk to the Syrian port city of Banyas. The Iraqi oil then continued via pipeline to the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The sources said the U.S. move was meant to punish Lebanon and Syria for its open support of Iraq during the war against the coalition. Both Lebanon and Syria provided safe haven to senior members of the regime of President Saddam Hussein. They also sent volunteers and weapons to Iraq.

The Kuwaiti Al Siyassah daily reported on Friday that the United States will allow Iraqi oil to flow via two other pipelines. One is a pipeline being planned through Jordan and meant to end at the northern Israeli port of Haifa.

The other pipeline will begin at the Iraqi oil fields at Kirkuk and will end in Turkey.

In Washington, the United States has refused to say whether the Iraqi oil pipeline to Syria and Lebanon has been shut down. "I don't have an update on that," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on Friday. "That would be something you might want to ask out in the field."

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