A convoy of 20 American tankers has reportedly transported crude oil stolen from Syrian fields to neighboring Iraq.
Syria’s official SANA news agency reported on Saturday that the US convoy had left Syria’s northwestern Hasakah Province heading for the Iraqi territories through the illegal al-Walid crossing in al-Yaroubia area.
The US, in collusion with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of Kurdish militants operating against Damascus, controls most of the oil fields in al-Jazira.
Over the past months, thousands of trucks carrying weapons and military and logistical equipment have entered the region.
In October 2019, President Donald Trump said Washington would be willing to fight for Syria’s oil.
“We may have to fight for the oil. It’s OK,” he said. “Maybe somebody else wants the oil, in which case they have a hell of a fight. But there’s massive amounts of oil.”
The following month, Trump insisted that the US military presence in Syria was “only for the oil,” contradicting his own officials who had claimed that the remaining forces were in the war-stricken country to fight the Daesh terrorist group.
The remarks came months after reports emerged of a secretive deal between the SDF and Delta Crescent Energy company, an American firm based in the state of Delaware, to steal Syrian oil. The State Department later confirmed that the US government had facilitated such a license.
Speaking at the UN Security Council, Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari said, "The US occupation forces, in full view of the United Nations and the international community, took a new step to plunder Syria's natural resources, including Syrian oil and gas" through Delta Crescent Energy.
The US is "stealing Syrian oil and depriving the Syrian state and Syrian people of the basic revenues necessary to improve the humanitarian situation, provide for livelihood needs and reconstruction," he added.
Syria produced around 380,000 barrels of oil per day before the conflict erupted in 2011.
During the course of the fight against foreign-backed terrorists, the Damascus government lost control of the most oil producing fields in a stretch east of the Euphrates River in Dayr al-Zawr Province.
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