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Official: US troops to stay in northeaster Syria to back anti-Damascus SDF

In this file picture, US military vehicles patrol along the M4 highway near Tal Tamr, northeastern Syria, on May 20, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The US says it will continue deployment of troops in energy-rich northeastern Syria and prop up allied Kurdish militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Damascus government.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood said in a teleconference on Friday that Washington is committed to keeping “military presence” in northeast Syria “in partnership with the SDF, and to stabilize areas liberated” by that group.

Hood alleged that the US supported all forms of assistance to the people of Syria, but stopped short of pointing to the crippling blockade placed on the Syrian government by Washington and its allies, under the so-called Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.

He noted that “stability in Syria and the greater region can only be achieved through a political process that represents the will of all Syrians.”

On Thursday, the the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced in a statement that US-led forces stationed in northeastern Syria will continue to patrol in the region along with SDF partners.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that the US military has dispatched truckloads of ammunition and logistical equipment to the northeastern province of Hasakah amid Washington’s attempts to further loot oil reserves and natural resources in the Arab country.

The sources said a convoy of 38 vehicles, including refrigerated trucks and trailers, headed toward US positions in the province on Friday.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. Damascus says the deployment is meant to plunder the country's resources.

Former US president Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in Syria for its oil.

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.

Syria says 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 inhumane tactic using people's basic needs as a tool to pressure the government.

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