US Reportedly Loots Fresh Batch of Syrian Crude Oil, Ships It to Iraq
19:04 GMT 06.12.2022 (Updated: 16:47 GMT 08.01.2023)
© AP Photo / Baderkhan AhmadIn this Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 file photo, U.S. forces patrol Syrian oil fields, in eastern Syria.President Donald Trump's decision to dispatch new U.S. forces to eastern Syria to secure oil fields is being criticized by some experts as ill-defined and ambiguous.
© AP Photo / Baderkhan Ahmad
US troops and their Syrian Kurdish militia allies control about a third of Syria, including its richest oil and food producing regions. The US occupation has hampered Damascus’s ability to rebuild from a devastating foreign-backed war, and turned the nation from a net exporter to a net recipient of both energy and food.
A US convoy containing 66 tankers filled with oil from Syria’s northeastern Jazeera region has been smuggled out of the country into northern Iraq, local media have reported, citing sources in the al-Ya’rubiyah countryside in al-Hasakah governorate.
The act of pillage is at least the second time in two weeks that local media have reported on the illegal smuggling activity. On November 22, it was reported that a convoy of 44 tankers had left the country via the al-Mahmoudiyah crossing, and also sent into Iraq.
The US and their Kurdish 'Syrian Democratic Forces' allies have been looting Syria’s oil resources for over five years, with American troops establishing a presence in northeastern Syria between 2016 and 2017 after pushing Daesh’s* self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ out of lands east of the Euphrates River.
The Syrian military has repeatedly attempted to dislodge US occupation forces in the country’s northeast through a strategy of roadblocks and deployments in the area, but has faced devastating attacks by US air power whenever it encroaches on American positions, leading to a cruel status quo in which the Pentagon is able to maintain control of Syria’s oil and gas fields, and major food-growing areas, using a small number of troops embedded alongside Kurdish militants as a form of insurance.
Damascus has repeatedly vowed to one day restore total control over all of its internationally-recognized borders, and slammed the US and other Western powers for ignoring the American occupation.
27 November 2022, 19:20 GMT
An estimated 90 percent of Syria’s modest oil reserves are concentrated east the Euphrates, and the country, which enjoyed modest export earnings and self-sufficiency in energy and food before 2011, has become a net importer of both, depending on assistance from its Iranian and Russian allies.
In 2020, Russian military intelligence calculated that the US and its allies were earning as much as $30 million a month from oil plundering activities in Syria. This is a drop in the bucket for Washington, but enough to help complement its efforts to starve Syria into submission, when combined with the severe sanctions regime against the war-torn and impoverished country, facetiously known as the ‘Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.’
* Aka ISIS, a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.