Twelve US trucks laden with tonnes of wheat from silos in northern Syria were seen going to neighbouring Iraq through an illegal border crossing, the Syrian state news agency SANA said Thursday.
SANA cited local sources who said that wheat had been stolen from silos in Tal Alou in the Al-Hasakah Governorate.
On Friday, 18 US military vehicles loaded with wheat were reportedly witnessed driving through the Semalka border crossing towards Iraq. In addition to crops, Syrian officials say the US has long been pilfering Syrian oil, which is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the continued military presence in the Arab Republic.
Russia said on Monday that it continues to receive daily reports about US convoys transferring oil and grain from Syria to Iraq, pointing out that 300 oil trucks crossed the Syria-Iraq border on 23 March alone as ascertained from information in the reports received.
On 26 March, local sources in the northeastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah reported that 18 US military vehicles, loaded with wheat crops, had rumbled through the Semalka border crossing, and headed toward Iraqi territory.
After former US President Donald Trump announced in the autumn of 2018 his plans to withdraw troops from Syria, as part of his 2016 election promise to cease the "endless wars", the ex-commander-in-chief soon changed his mind, saying that a residual force of US troops will remain in northeast Syria to "secure the oil".
Sitting US President Joe Biden has not reversed the policies of the former administration. In late February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow had received information suggesting the United States plans to stay in Syria indefinitely, "even to the point of destroying this country".
US forces have been stationed in Syria's oil-rich northeast since 2017, despite them never being invited to the Arab Republic. Their deployment was also not authorised by the UN Security Council. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly stated that the American presence in the country is illegal and in violation of Syria's sovereigny.