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US military convoy forced to turn back after Syrian villagers, govt. forces block road in Hasakah

US Army soldiers prepare to go out on patrol from a remote combat outpost on May 25, 2021 in northeastern Syria. (File photo by Getty Images)

Residents of a village in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah have reportedly blocked a US military convoy as it was attempting to pass through their community, amid boiling public rage over the presence of American occupation forces in the energy-rich region of the war-ravaged Arab country.

According to a report published by Syria’s official news agency SANA, the convoy of five armored vehicles had to turn around and head back in the directions it came from after locals of the village of al-Mujaibra, which lies on the outskirts of Tal Tamr town, and Syrian army troops intercepted and expelled it from the area on Tuesday.

The development came less than a week after a US convoy of five US military vehicles was forced to retreat after locals of the village of Qabur al-Granja in the Qamishli district of Hasakah province blocked the road and prevented its movement.

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, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country's rich mineral resources.

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

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

In June 2020, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria intending to choke off revenue sources for the government.

The sanctions have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by barring foreign companies from doing trade with Damascus. Syria says the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods.

Syrians denounce presence of US-backed SDF militants in Hasakah

Separately, dozens of people in Syria’s Hasakah province have staged a demonstration in protest at the deployment of US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the area and the their arbitrary practices.

SANA, citing local sources, reported that the residents of al-Yousefiyah and al-Junaidiyah villages held a rally on Tuesday, protesting the seizure of their property as well as looting and smuggling of crude oil by SDF militants.

The demonstrators also argued that the US-backed forces kidnap and force young locals in the Rmelan subdistrict of Hasakah province to fight in their ranks.

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

Locals argue that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.

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

Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, neglecting services and not meeting the people’s basic needs.

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