ISIS blows Syria's largest electricity plant

ISIS blows Syria's largest electricity plant

BEIRUT, Jan 9 (APP/AFP): The Islamic State group has blown up a natural gas plant that supplied one-third of Syria's electricity, one month after getting its hands on the facility, a monitor said Monday.

"In the past 48 hours, IS blew up the Hayyan gas plant in eastern Homs province, putting it totally out of order," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that tracks the country's civil war using sources on the ground.

A source at the Syrian oil ministry also confirmed the explosion to AFP.

The plant had already ceased to operate one month ago, after the advance of the militants in the central region of Palmyra.

IS on Sunday released a video entitled "Hayyan Gas Company explosion in the east of Homs province" in which a man is seen planting explosives before a wide-angle shot of a huge explosion engulfing the plant.

Jihad Yazigi of the economic news weekly The Syria Report said the gas from the plant was used to produce one third of the country's electricity.

According to the weekly, the plant used to produce 3.7 million cubic metres of natural gas per day.

"Therefore millions of Syrians are affected... it was one of the few stations that still produced close to its capacity," Yazigi told AFP.

Since 2014, IS has seized several gas and oil fields in Syria, especially in the central and eastern parts of the country.

The US-led coalition regularly carries out air strikes on oil wells operated by the militants.

Yazigi said the gas from the plant was used to provide electricity for the provinces of Damascus, Hama and Homs, in central Syria.

"The plant represented a large industrial investment and is actually one of the most important... economic infrastructure (facilities) to have been destroyed since March 2011" when the war began, he said.



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