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US stealing Syrian oil via pipelines in Tigris into Iraqi territory: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a US military vehicle patrolling near an oilfield in Syria's militant-controlled northeastern Hasakah Province.

US forces, along with US-backed militants of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), keep stealing Syrian national oil from the eastern province of Hasakah via pipelines laid in Tigris into Iraqi territory, a report says.

Local sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Syria's official news agency, SANA, on Saturday that the US forces and the SDF militants were smuggling oil from fields in al-Jazira region through recently-laid pipelines crossing Tigris in the Semalka area into Iraqi territory.

The sources added that the occupation forces were stealing hundreds of barrels of crude oil on a daily basis through 10-inch pipelines after transporting them by tankers from Karachuk fields in the northeast of Rumailan.

The report added that the smuggled oil is first unloaded from tankers into oil reservoirs in Semalka region, and is then pumped through the pipelines toward Iraqi territory.

Furthermore, the US forces also smuggle Syrian oil through dozens of crude-loaded tankers on a weekly basis to Iraqi land through the illegal crossings created for that purpose, including the al-Walid in al-Ya'rubiyah countryside.

The US looting of Syrian oil was first confirmed during a US Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this year.

Damascus has condemned the plunder of the country's natural resources, including oil and gas, by the outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump.

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 Takfiri Daesh terrorists, but Trump has already said that the US seeks economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

A US-led military coalition has been pounding what it claims are the 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.

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