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Syrian govt. troops block US military convoy in Hasakah, force it to turn back

An American military convoy stops near the town of Tal Tamr, northeastern Syria, on October 20, 2019. (Photo by AP)

Amid smoldering public resentment over the deployment of American occupation forces in northeastern Syria, government troops have blocked a US military convoy as it was attempting to pass through a community in the northern flank of the energy-rich province of Hasakah.

According to a report published by Syria’s official news agency SANA, Syrian army troops, deployed at a security checkpoint near the village of al-Dirdara, intercepted the convoy of five armored vehicles on Tuesday evening.

The American troops were subsequently forced to turn around and go back in the direction they came from. There were no reports of clashes or injuries.

On December 16, a US convoy of five US military vehicles, escorted by a vehicle belonging to US-backed Kurdish militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was forced to retreat after locals of the villages of al-Damkhiya and Abu Dhuwail in the same Syrian province blocked a road, and prevented its movement.

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.

Syrians protest against US-backed SDF militants

Moreover, Syrians have staged a protest in Hasakah province to condemn the presence of SDF militants in their area.

SANA, citing local sources, reported that residents of al-Zohour neighborhood, south of the provincial capital city of Hasakah, staged a demonstration on Tuesday in protest against arbitrary measures of the US-backed extremists, particularly forcing young men to fight within their ranks, and plunder of energy reserves.

The development comes as security conditions have been deteriorating in the SDF-controlled areas in Syria’s northern and northeastern provinces of Raqqah, Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr.

Local Syrians complain that the SDF’s constant raids have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihood.

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

Local councils affiliated with the SDF also stand accused of financial corruption.

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