The electricity system in Syria relies on the supply of gas and fuel oil.
According to an ISIS statement, members of this group “managed to plant and ignite explosives targeting a gas pipeline supplying the Tishrin and Deir Ali power stations”.
The Deir Ali power station, still out of service on Saturday, produces half of the country’s electricity needs, recalled the Syrian Minister of Electricity Ghassan al-Zamel, quoted by the official agency SANA.
According to him, the explosive attack, committed Friday evening, put the plant temporarily out of service, affecting several other plants, and causing outages in Damascus and its suburbs as well as in other areas. Power returned about 30 minutes later.
He said repairs had started as early as Saturday but warned that strict power rationing would last until the power stations were running normally again.
Despite its territorial defeat in March 2019, the jihadist group continues to carry out deadly attacks in areas formerly under its control, particularly against oil and gas infrastructure.
The conflict in Syria, which started in 2011, caused the death of more than 380,000 people and the displacement of more than half of the pre-war population. It devastated electricity grids and oil and gas infrastructure across the country.
Bashar al-Assad’s regime has also lost control of major oil fields while Western sanctions prevent oil imports from abroad.
Syrians living in government zones must manage at home and at work to live with power cuts lasting up to 20 hours a day.