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US military forces steal wheat crops in Syria’s Hasakah, move them to Iraq: SANA

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)
In this file picture, a convoy of US military vehicles drives along a road in the countryside of Syria’s northeastern city of Qamishli, Hasakah province. (Photo by AFP)

A convoy of a dozen US military trucks has carried tons of grain from Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, reported that 12 military vehicles loaded with wheat crops from silos of Tal Alou village in al-Ya'rubiyah region headed towards the Iraqi territories on Thursday after crossing Semalka border crossing.

The development took place a few days after 38 US military trucks entered northern Iraq from Syria as they were carrying wheat crops.

Back on March 26, local sources in Syria’s northeastern town of al-Malikiyah reported that 18 US military vehicles, loaded with wheat crops, had rumbled through Semalka border crossing, and headed toward the Iraqi territory.

This comes as US forces also continue to smuggle crude oil from Hasakah to Iraq.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the troops deployment are aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, says the deployment is meant to plunder the country's resources. 

Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Bassam Tomeh told state-run and Arabic-language al-Ikhbariyah Syria television news network on March 18 that the US and its allied Takfiri terrorist groups are looting oil reserves in the war-stricken Arab country, revealing that Washington controls 90 percent of crude reserves in oil-rich northeastern Syria.

“Americans and their allies are targeting the Syrian oil wealth and its tankers just like pirates,” the Syrian oil minister said.

He noted that the cost of direct and indirect damage to the Syrian oil sector stands at more than $92 billion.

The US first confirmed its looting of Syrian oil during a Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in late July last year.

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 northeastern Syria, which is controlled by militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The Syrian government strongly condemned the agreement, saying that the deal was struck to plunder the country's natural resources, including oil and gas, under the sponsorship and support of the administration of former US president Donald Trump.

US-backed SDF militants abduct 15 Syrian civilians in southern Hasakah

Separately, US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have abducted several civilians in Syria’s Hasakah as public discontent grows over the presence and arbitrary practices of the militants and American military forces in the area.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told SANA that SDF militants stormed several villages in the western countryside of the province on Thursday and took 15 people away.

The sources added that the US-backed militants took away the captives to their camps in the town of al-Shaddadi.

Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in areas controlled by the SDF in Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces amid ongoing raids and kidnappings of civilians by the militants.

Locals complain that the SDF’s conduct has generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.

Residents accuse the US-sponsored militants of stealing crude oil and refusing to spend money on services sectors.

Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, and failing to provide basic public requirements.


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