US loots new batch of Syrian oil, reinforces bases in occupied Hasakah

Washington’s theft of Syrian oil has the intended goal of funding the de-facto Kurdish administration of northeast Syria

US occupation troops in Syria smuggled a new shipment of stolen oil from the resource-rich Jazira region to their bases in Iraq on 10 July with the help of their Kurdish proxy militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

According to locals from Al-Yaarubiyah in Hasakah governorate, US and SDF troops smuggled at least 39 tanker trucks filled with stolen oil via the illegal Al-Mahmoudiya border crossing.

Furthermore, the locals told SANA that US forces are continuing to reinforce their occupation bases in the Jazira region, saying that at least 30 trucks and tankers carrying cement and logistical materials recently entered the region through the illegal Al-Waleed border crossing.

Last month, the Pentagon sent reinforcements from Iraq to northeast Syria to solidify their presence in the war-torn country and train anti-government armed groups. The reinforcements included armored vehicles, fuel tankers, and ammunition to US bases and military posts in the towns of Rmelan, TalBeydar, and Ash-Shaddadi in Hasakah.

Washington recently deployed High Mobile Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Syria and a fleet of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to neighboring Jordan to “ward off” Russian warplanes operating alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

Washington claims to have approximately 900 troops stationed in Syria, primarily split between the massive Al-Tanf base in the south and the oil-rich northeast region. However, observers say the actual number is likely closer to 2,000 troops, which are rotated in and out from US bases in Iraq.

Though US officials claim they occupy Syria’s northeast to “prevent the return of ISIS,” Syria analyst Jennifer Cafarella of the Institute for the Study of War in 2017 noted another reason for the continued US military occupation in northeastern Syria.

She observed, “Whether Washington chooses to admit it or not, the US now has direct influence over the vast majority of Syria’s most productive oil fields,” and that the territorial gains of the SDF “are Syrian national treasures that, when added up amount to brute geopolitical power for the US.”

In 2019, former US president Donald Trump detailed why Washington intends to uphold the occupation of northeast Syria, saying, “We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil … I like oil. We’re keeping the oil.”

According to The Cradle columnist Firas Shoufi, the main goal of siphoning off Syrian oil to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) is to help the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), which is protected by more than 13 US military bases, to finance its activities and cover its local fuel needs.

In August of last year, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the losses incurred by the country’s oil and gas sector due to Washington’s illegal occupation amounted to $107 billion since 2011.

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