The US military has reportedly used dozens of tanker trucks to smuggle crude oil from Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah to bases in neighboring Iraq, where American forces and trainers are stationed, as Washington continues to loot energy resources in the war-ravaged country.
Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources in al-Ya'rubiyah town, reported that a convoy of 50 tankers, laden with oil from the energy-rich Jazira region, left Syria through the illegal Mahmoudiya border crossing on Friday, and headed towards Iraqi territories.
SANA noted that US forces have intensified their theft of Syrian crude oil over the past few weeks with the help of US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The development came a week after the US military smuggled a consignment of stolen Syrian oil into northern Iraqi regions.
SANA reported that American occupation forces, under the protection of armored vehicles, used 14 tankers to plunder the natural resources of the Arab country through the illegal al-Waleed border crossing.
It added that 85 US military tankers had smuggled thousands of liters of Syrian crude oil into northern Iraq through the illegal Mahmoudiya crossing a day earlier.
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 September 21, China called on the United States to stop plundering Syria’s national resources and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country.
“We call on the United States to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, unilaterally lift sanctions, and end the theft of Syria’s national resources,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing.
Wang said, “this is not the first time that the United States military has stolen oil from Syria and they seem to be becoming more and more uncontrollable.”
The Chinese spokesman also said the US government has a duty to investigate robberies committed by intervening military forces, as well as to compensate for the damages caused.