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