Accusations of US Troops Engaging in Massive Oil Theft in Syria as 35 Tankers Disappear



Accusations of US Troops Engaging in Massive Oil Theft in Syria as 35 Tankers Disappear

DAMASCUS - US forces in Syria have been accused of escalating oil theft, with 35 oil-laden tankers mysteriously disappearing from the country led by President Bashar al-Assad. Local sources in al-Yarubiyah, in the eastern province of Hasakah, claimed that these tankers were taken to northern Iraq through the al-Walid border crossing.

"US occupation forces brought a convoy consisting of 120 vehicles, including 65 tankers, some of which carried damaged military equipment, 20 refrigerated trucks, and 35 tanks loaded with stolen Syrian oil, to their base in northern Iraq," said one of the sources, as quoted by Syria's state media outlet, SANA, on Monday (July 17, 2023). 

The source added that the convoy of US troops was accompanied by four pickups belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for protection. This incident involving the 35 oil tankers took place last Saturday. 

A week prior, a convoy of 39 tankers carrying Syrian crude oil left the oil fields in Hasakah and was also smuggled into Iraq, this time through the Mahmoudiya checkpoint—a different border crossing that is not under the control of the Damascus government and is considered illegal. 

Local sources stated that in addition to the oil shipments leaving the country, US forces brought around 30 trucks and tankers filled with cement and logistical supplies into Syria through the al-Walid crossing to support their bases in the country. 

On June 1st and June 3rd, Syria's state media reported the smuggling of 49 and 45 oil tankers, respectively, through Mahmoudiya. Between April and May, more than 130 tankers filled with crude oil passed through al-Walid and Mahmoudiya.

The US has been consistently involved in oil smuggling activities, even in March, just weeks after a devastating earthquake struck northern Syria, claiming thousands of lives.

Damascus estimated last year that the country's energy sector had suffered losses of around $107 billion between 2011 and 2022, due to the damage caused by US occupation forces, coalition bombings, exploitation, inappropriate theft, and looting by terrorist and separatist groups.

The US operates approximately a dozen military bases in Syria, all without the permission of the internationally recognized Damascus government. It is estimated that 90 percent of Syria's oil and gas resources are concentrated east of the Euphrates River in the areas controlled by the US and its Kurdish allies. 

Before the CIA's "dirty war" against Syria began in 2011, the country was not a major energy exporter but had enough oil and gas to achieve self-sufficiency and even generate modest export revenues. 

However, the US occupation of a third of the country, which also includes most of its fertile agricultural land, has transformed Syria into a net importer of energy and food with the help of Iran and Russia. 

US forces began exploiting oil resources in Syria in 2016-2017, with then-President Donald Trump repeatedly stating that America would "keep the oil" and maintain its troops in Syrian territory solely for oil purposes. 

The Biden administration has claimed that US forces remain in Syria to prevent the resurgence of ISIS. However, the Biden government has not yet commented on the allegations of massive oil theft by its troops in Syria.

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