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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)
American soldiers patrol on the M4 highway in the town of Tal Tamr in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah on the border with Turkey on January 24, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Dozens of US military trucks have left Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah for the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, carrying tons of grain.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, reported that a convoy of 35 military vehicles loaded with wheat crops from silos of Tal Alou village in al-Ya'rubiyah region headed towards the Iraqi territories on Monday after passing through Waleed border crossing.

The sources said that another convoy of 11 US military trucks left Syria for Iraq through the same border crossing hours later.

The developments took place only a day after a convoy of 86 US military trucks, accompanied by dozens of armored vehicles, crossed  al-Waleed border crossing from Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, and entered Kharab al-Jir military base in the Yarubiyah district of Syria’s Hasakah province.

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.

After failing to oust the Syrian government through proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has stepped up its economic war on the Arab country. 

Last June, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria with the alleged aim of choking off revenue for the government. 

The sanctions, however, have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by prohibiting foreign companies trading with Damascus.

The US and the Europeans had already banned export and investment in Syria, as well as transactions involving oil and hydrocarbon products.

Syria has said the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods -- an inhumane attempt to suffocate ordinary people.

Officials also say the stepped-up smuggling of strategic Syrian resources is the latest inhuman tactic using people's basic needs as a tool to pressure the government.


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