BEIRUT — Trucks filled with Iranian fuel began entering Lebanon through Syria on Thursday, arriving to jubilant supporters in the blackout-ridden country.
Here’s what we know so far:
• A convoy of around 20 tanker trucks loaded with Iranian diesel entered Lebanon, each carrying some 50,000 liters of diesel fuel, according to a correspondent from Al-Manar TV, which is affiliated with Hezbollah.
• The TV station said the convoys were “breaking the American siege,” referencing US sanctions against Iran, and Washington’s policy in Lebanon, which has long sought to counter Iranian-allied Hezbollah. The fuel was brought by boat to Syria, then trucked overland in an attempt to avoid complications over sanctions.
• The trucks were greeted by supporters along the road waving Hezbollah flags and throwing rice and rose petals as the convoy passed, AFP reported.
• The diesel is set to go to hospitals, water pumping stations and other critical infrastructure, as well as bakeries and pharmaceutical factories, among other destinations, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday.
• The incoming fuel shipments were first announced by Nasrallah and reportedly paid for by a group of Lebanese businessmen. At least four tanker ships are set to deliver fuel.
• The fuel is arriving amid a crippling electricity crisis caused by countrywide fuel shortages. Lebanon’s state electricity provider can barely produce a handful of hours of electricity per day.