"A number of US troops has been returned to positions east of the Euphrates River allegedly to protect oil rigs when in fact they are looting hydrocarbons for profit and with the goal of funding anti-government forces", he said.
The general, who heads Russia’s National Center for State Defence Control, said at a joint meeting of the Russian-Syrian coordination headquarters that US plundering deprived the Syrian people of their national wealth and prevented the economy from rebounding.
US President Donald Trump said earlier that his government intended to retain control of the oil fields in northeastern Syria despite scaling down its military presence in the area. About 90 percent of Syrian oil is concentrated to the east of the Euphrates River.
About 90 percent of Syrian oil reserves are concentrated to the east of the Euphrates River, the region that was previously a stronghold of Daesh* terror group and is now mainly controlled by Kurds allied with the United States.
In October, in the face of the Turkish cross-border offensive against the Kurdish militants, the United States initially withdrew its forces from northeastern Syria, but later announced that it would keep a small number of troops in the area to protect the oil fields.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia