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Syrian troops clash, expel US forces from village in oil-rich Hasakah

In this file picture released on February 16, 2020 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian army soldiers flash the victory sign in the Rashideen neighborhood, in Aleppo province, northwestern Syria.

Syrian government soldiers and US military troops have engaged in clashes as the latter conducted an airdrop operation in the energy-rich northeastern province of Hasakah, amid boiling public resentment over the presence of occupation forces in the war-ravaged country.

Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported that the confrontation between Syrian army troops and US occupation forces took place south of the city of Qamishli.

The report added that the skirmishes erupted after American forces carried out an airdrop operation on a village controlled by Syrian government troops.

Syria's state broadcaster said a civilian lost his life during the airdrop operation conducted by American attack helicopters in the village of Muluk Saray.

Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, citing informed sources requesting anonymity, identified the victim as Rakan Abu Hayel, a resident of Tuwaimin village in the eastern countryside of Qamishli.

It added that 50 US soldiers took part in the night operation, and they arrested Abu Hayel’s family members and several other people during the raid.

Back on September 13, Syrian government troops blocked a US military convoy as it was attempting to pass through a community in 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 in the Munsif district, intercepted the convoy of four armored vehicles and a pickup truck.

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.

Residents of Tal Aswad village on the outskirts of Qamishli city in Hasakah province blocked a US convoy from advancing in the region on July 21, and forced it to retreat.

SANA cited local sources as saying that the convoy was made up of four military vehicles that tried to rumble through a checkpoint, but was forced to return to where it had come from.

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.

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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.

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