National Geographic : 1978 Sep
from northeastern oil fields, and 3,000 workers labor around the clock to transform it into 4.7 million metric tons of petroleum products annually. Another refinery, currently under con struction in the coastal city of Baniyas, will come on stream at the end of 1978, at which point Syria will begin to export significant quantities of refined products. The engineers who received me at the Horns refinery did so with exquisite courte sy. We toured the installation but, no, pho tographs were not permitted. Why not? The refinery, it eventuated, had been heavily bombed in 1973, crippling it and leaving 288 casualties among the workers. Now, pre sumably, defensive missile sites have been erected, and a random photograph might re veal one or more. Syrian sensitivity is understandable. Their statistics show that in the 1973 of fensive against Israel, the counterattack caused damage estimated at 1.8 billion dol lars, nearly the sum of Syria's entire gross national product for that year. Christians' Place of Refuge Sixty miles south of Homs, in the fastness of AlJabal ash Sharqi, the dwellings of some 1,500 Christians cling to the cliffsides.