Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov has lashed out at the illegal presence of American forces in Syria, stating that their deployment hinders the fight against Takfiri terrorist groups and contributes to their growth across the war-ravaged Arab country.
“Illegal armed groups have not abandoned their plans of territorial expansion. The illegal military presence of the United States and a number of other countries on Syrian soil contributes to this, and makes the fight against terrorists less effective,” Gerasimov said during a briefing with military attaches of foreign states in Moscow on Thursday.
He noted that Russian forces are helping Syrian government troops purge remaining areas of terrorists, facilitate return of internally displaced people, restore civil services and preserve the country’s territorial integrity.
The top Russian military official highlighted that work is underway with the Turkish side in order to implement existing agreements, and uphold cessation of hostilities in the de-escalation zone of Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.
US convoy of 83 tankers crosses into Iraq with smuggled Syrian oil
Meanwhile, a US military convoy of dozens of tankers has carried thousands of liters of Syrian crude oil from Hasakah to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq as Washington is systematically smuggling basic commodities out of Syria.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that 83 tankers laden with stolen Syrian oil entered the Iraqi territories on Thursday after crossing al-Waleed border crossing.
The sources said the tanker trucks were coming from Khirbat al-Jeer Airport, which US occupation forces use as a base to support their troops and consolidate their presence in the Jazira region.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and 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, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.
Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in Syria for its oil.
After failing to oust the Syrian government with the help of its proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has now stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.