ABU DHABI Ñ U.S. special operations forces are said to have blown up
an Iraqi pipeline that delivered more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day to
The Kuwaiti Al Rai Al Aam daily reported on Wednesday that U.S. forces
sabotaged the Iraqi oil pipeline to Syria last week in an operation in
northwestern Iraq. The newspaper quoted U.S. sources as saying the forces
also blew up a railroad link between Iraq and Syria.
Until the start of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, Syria obtained 250,000
barrels of oil per day through two pipelines that stemmed from the northern
Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Middle East Newsline reported. One pipeline reached the Syrian port of Banyas for
export. The other provided oil directly to the Syrian national energy grid.
The U.S. sources said the destruction of the main pipeline came amid a
warning by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for a halt to Syrian military
supplies to the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The newspaper
reported that on Monday the pumping station on the Iraqi side of the
pipeline had broken down.
The Kuwaiti report was not immediately confirmed by other sources. A
Western intelligence source said on Wednesday that the Iraqi-Syrian pipeline
was not blown up. The source would not elaborate.