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US theft of Syria crude oil ‘act of piracy,’ Damascus says as it calls for withdrawal of troops

The file picture shows a view of the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates building in the capital Damascus.

Syria has condemned the ongoing plunder of Syrian oil by the United States, urging Washington to immediately withdraw its illegitimate forces from the war-ravaged country.

In a post on its Twitter account on Saturday, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates denounced as an “act of piracy and an attempt to return to the colonial era” the US military’s theft of crude oil from Syria and its transfer to neighboring Iraq, according to Syria’s official news agency SANA.

It also called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn such acts and put an end to them, while stressing that such measures are against international law and the UN Charter.

The ministry further pointed out that Syria reserves the right to receive compensation from the US for its looting of the Arab country's natural resources.

The latest development comes as US forces have intensified their theft of Syrian crude oil from the northeastern province of Hasakah over the past few weeks with the help of US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Earlier in the day, 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.

This 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.

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