The Ministry of Energy and Water denied media reports that claimed fuel was being exported to Syria from Lebanese oil refineries.
“So far, no fuel has been exported to Syria from the Tripoli and Zahrani oil refineries,” the ministry’s press office said in a statement it issued on Tuesday.
It also accused the parties which reported such information of doing so for “political reasons.”
The statement explained that “exporting quantities of fuel from the Tripoli and Zahrani oil refineries to Syria or other [countries] is within the purview of oil refineries… and is consequently their right under Lebanese laws.”
However, the ministry’s statement precised that the Syrian tankers that were seen carrying diesel fuel in the southern town of Zahrani “were taking the fuel from a private company, not from the Zahrani oil refinery.”
It also specified that the tanks were transporting green diesel, a substance “exclusively imported by private companies, therefore it cannot be found in the Tripoli and Zahrani oil refineries.”
Earlier on Tuesday, media outlets reported that a large number of Syrian registered trucks were filling their tanks with diesel fuel in Beirut before heading to Syria.
The news prompted opposition officials to denounce the ministry’s “scandal,” with mainly Future bloc MPs condemning the “support provided to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”
Lebanon’s political landscape is currently split between supporters of the Syrian regime and the Western-backed forces, to which the Future bloc is affiliated.
The Lebanese government has meanwhile continuously stated that it has adopted a neutral stance with regard to the troubles taking place in neighboring Syria.