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US military tankers smuggle crude oil from Syria’s Hasakah to northern 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)
In this file picture, mask-clad US soldiers walk during a patrol near an oil production facility in the countryside near al-Malikiyah in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah on October 27, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Amid Washington’s ferocious campaign to further plunder Syrian energy resources, the US military has reportedly used dozens of tanker trucks to smuggle crude oil from the war-ravaged country’s northeastern province of Hasakah to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources in al-Ya'rubiyah town, reported that a convoy of 31 US military trucks, including tankers and flatbed trucks carrying battle tanks, left Syria through al-Waleed border crossing on Monday, and headed towards Iraqi territories.

The sources added that three four-wheel-drive vehicles belonging to American occupation forces also escorted the convoy as it entered Iraqi soil and drove towards US military bases in northern Iraq.

The US military has for long stationed its 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 natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

On August 30, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman denounced the illegal presence of US military forces in Syria, saying Washington’s continued looting of the war-torn country’s energy and mineral resources has only exacerbated the suffering of the Syrian people.

“It is appalling to see the sheer scale of US plundering in Syria, which has been going on as the country tries to emerge from a crisis that has dragged on for over a decade and a grave humanitarian crisis facing its people," Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference in Beijing.

"There is no greater injustice than the world’s wealthiest country robbing one of the poorest,” he added.

“US troops control Syria’s oil, natural gas and other natural resources. They continue to occupy Syria’s main oil fields and have plundered more than 80% of the country’s oil products. They have smuggled and burned Syria’s grain stock, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis there,” Zhao stressed.

“The US should thoroughly reflect on its war-related crimes, stop its illegal military presence and operations in Syria, lift unilateral sanctions on Syria, and stop stealing oil and grain from Syria. The US needs to return to Syrian people the freedom, wealth and dignity that are rightfully theirs,” the Chinese diplomat pointed out.

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