Syria

Oil Smugglers Benefiting From Syrian Civil War

May make it difficult for Europeans to buy crude from the rebels

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(Reuters)—In Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zor, a network of tribes and smugglers has exploited the chaos of war to create an illicit oil trade that makes European hopes of buying crude from President Bashar al-Assad's opponents a distant prospect.

Powerful Sunni Muslim tribes have deployed armed fighters around oil production facilities and pipelines that have fallen under their control and set up smuggling and trade deals, according to sources in the province including rebels, an oil company employee and people with ties to the tribes.

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