A US military vehicle patrols near the Rumaylan oil fields in Syria’s militant-controlled northeastern Hasakah Province, on September 17, 2020. (Photo by AFP)
A fresh US convoy consisting of tanker trucks laden with stolen Syrian oil has left the war-stricken country toward Iraq as dozens of US troops and military equipment entered into Syria from neighboring Iraq, a report says.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency, SANA, on Thursday that 35 oil-laden tanker trucks left Syria’s oil fields in al-Jazira region in northeastern Hasakah Province Wednesday evening.
It added that the convoy was heading toward the Iraqi territory through the illegal al-Walid crossing in the al-Yaroubia area.
The US looting of Syrian oil was fist confirmed during a Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late July.
On July 30 and during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo confirmed for the first time that an American oil company would begin work in the northeastern Syria, which is controlled by militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The SDF, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish militants operating against Damascus, currently controls areas in northern and eastern Syria.
The Syrian government has denounced in the strongest terms the agreement inked to plunder the country’s natural resources, including Syrian oil and gas, under the sponsorship and support of the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Separately on Wednesday, another US convoy brought in six military vehicles, carrying 50 soldiers, from bases in Iraq to illegal Kharab al-Jeer airbase in Malkia area in Syria’s Hasakah, SANA reported.
Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying soldiers to the SDF-controlled oil fields in eastern Syria, in a reversal of Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the war-torn country.
The Pentagon claims that the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, but the American president has already said that the US seeks economic interests in controlling the oil fields.
A US-led military coalition has been pounding what it claimed was positions of Daesh inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. The strikes have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.
Three SDF militants killed in Dayr al-Zawr, Raqqah
In a separate report on Thursday, SANA, citing local sources, said three SDF militants were gunned down after the group’s positions in Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah provinces of Syria came under several attacks.
It added that two militants were killed in a machine-gun attack by unknown gunmen at one of the SDF’s checkpoints in Dhiban town and on a military vehicle of the group, which was carrying a number of militants, near Ma’aizila town, both in Dayr al-Zawr province.
Another SDF militant was shot down by unknown people, who targeted one of the group’s checkpoints north of Raqqah city.
Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in SDF-controlled areas in Hasakah, Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah provinces amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the militants.