Scores of US Vessels With ‘Stolen Syrian Oil’ Leave Arab Republic for Iraq, Report Says
Earlier this year, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby argued that the US military presence in north-eastern Syria is aimed at ensuring the “enduring defeat” of Daesh* terrorists, and that Washington is not involved in exploiting the region’s oil resources.
A convoy of 70 US vehicles, including tankers loaded with “stolen Syrian oil”, have made their way out of north-eastern Syria into Iraq via the al-Waleed border crossing, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported.
The Syrian government does not have any control over the al-Waleed border crossing and therefore deems it illegal.
SANA cited unnamed sources as saying that the convoy included trucks carrying several cannons and military vehicles belonging to the US forces.
Friday’s incident is the latest in a series of instances of the illegal smuggling of Syrian oil by the US and its Kurdish allies that have reported Syrian media over the past several months.
Last month, SANA claimed that an 80-vehicle convoy from the al-Jazeera region had been taken out of the country, again using the al-Waleed crossing. Before that, 25 more oil carriers were spotted driving through the border crossing into Iraq.
13 October 2020, 10:58 GMT
The Pentagon justifies the deployment of US forces in Syria by asserting that they are there to ensure the “enduring defeat” of Daesh terrorists. The former Daesh "caliphate" was formally routed by both Syrian and Iraqi forces by 2017, with Washington continuing to use the purported threat of the group’s re-emergence as justification for its continued presence in both countries.
Damascus says the US presence in Syria is illegal and accuses America of seeking to plunder Syrian oil. During his presidency, President Donald Trump openly admitted that “the only forces” he had in Syria were there to “take the oil”.
The US presence in Syria is not supported by any UN Security Council mandates, and Washington does not have an invitation from the country’s government to operate in Arab Republic.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries.