A US convoy, consisting of 30 tanker trucks laden with stolen Syrian oil, has left the war-stricken country and sneaked into neighboring Iraq, official SANA news agency says.
The convoy carried the oil looted from the al-Jazira region in northeastern Hasakah Province to the Iraqi territories through the illegal al-Walid crossing in the al-Yaroubia area, it said Saturday.
The US looting of Syrian oil was fist confirmed during a Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senenator Lindsey Graham and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late July.
Graham said Mazloum Abdi, general commander of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), had informed him that a deal had been signed with an American firm to “modernize the oil fields in northeastern Syria,” and asked Pompeo whether the US administration was supportive of it.
“We are,” the top US diplomat replied. “The deal took a little longer … than we had hoped, and now we’re in implementation.”
The SDF, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish militants operating against Damascus, currently controls areas in northern and eastern Syria.
Damascus condemned in the strongest terms the agreement inked to plunder Syria’s natural resources, including Syrian oil and gas, under the sponsorship and support of the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari said at the time that the Delaware-based Delta Crescent Energy company had “entered into a contract with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, an agent of the US occupation forces in northeastern Syria, with the aim of stealing Syrian oil and depriving the Syrian state and Syrian people of the basic revenues necessary to improve the humanitarian situation, provide for livelihood needs and reconstruction.”
In 2019, Trump expressed interest in making a deal with American energy companies to tap Syrian oil reserves.
He announced that US troops would remain in Syria to “secure” oil reserves and even put up “a hell of a fight” against any force that tried to take them.
Trump says remaining US soldiers ‘guarding’ Syrian oil
On Friday, the US president told a White House news conference that “we are out of Syria,” adding that the remaining American forces were there exclusively “guarding the oil.”
“We are out of Syria other than we kept the oil. I kept the oil. We have troops guarding the oil. Other than that we are out of Syria,” he said.
Syria produced around 380,000 barrels of oil per day before the conflict erupted in 2011.
During the course of the fight against foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists, the Damascus government lost control of the most oil producing fields in a stretch east of the Euphrates River in Dayr al-Zawr Province.