The US military has made another deal with Daesh (ISIS)* involving dozens of tonnes of gold in exchange for safe passage for militants and commanders in Deir ez-Zor Province, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported, citing local sources.
According to SANA's information, US helicopters transported a cache of gold bullion under the cover of night on Sunday, with the gold earlier stored in the al-Baghouz area of the Deir ez-Zor countryside where the terrorists were holed up.
According to SANA's estimates, the US has now transferred a total of about 50 tonnes of the precious metal (worth about $2.13 billion as of this writing) out of Syria. Daesh is thought to have accumulated the gold through its campaign of plunder and terror across Syria and Iraq between 2015 and 2017.
The US military has not commented on the Syrian media's reporting.
Local residents and officials speaking to Syrian media have repeatedly accused the US of airlifting Daesh militants out of northeastern Syria and providing them with medical and other assistance despite the US-led coalition's war against the terrorists. Earlier, the Russian defence ministry alleged that the coalition of engaging in the training of former Daesh and Nusra Front terrorists to create a new militia force known as the 'New Syrian Army' to continue the fight against the Assad government.
Damascus has repeatedly said that the US presence in Syria is illegal, and called on Washington to withdrawal its forces immediately. The US deployment in the Arab Republic presently includes a base in at-Tanf, along the Syrian-Jordanian border, and multiple deployments in northeastern Syria alongside US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia. President Donald Trump announced that the US would be withdrawing its forces from Syria in December, leading to a string of resignations from his administration.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.