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Syria Reveals Staggering Cost of US Looting and Sabotage of Energy Sector

© AFP 2023 / DELIL SOULEIMANA child poses for a picture on the banks of a river polluted by a nearby oil field in the countryside of Rmeilan, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on August 14, 2023.
A child poses for a picture on the banks of a river polluted by a nearby oil field in the countryside of Rmeilan, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on August 14, 2023.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.09.2023
The United States presently occupies about a third of Syria, and has plundered billions of dollars' worth of oil and food from the war-torn country in an attempt to suffocate Damascus into submission economically after the failure of the CIA dirty war to topple the Assad government.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry has decided to remind the United Nations of US crimes against the Syrian people, sending letters to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Security Council President Ferit Hoxha demanding action to put an end to Washington's illegal behavior.
In a summary of the letter published by Syrian media, the Foreign Ministry reminded the UN that “the US and its tools of terrorist organizations and militias continue to violate Syrian sovereignty and plunder the country’s wealth and strategic resources.” Damascus demanded accountability, compensation, an end to “the illegal presence of American forces,” and the “return of lands it occupies and the oil and gas fields of the Syrian state.”

Syria recalled that these "aggressive practices" are a violation of international law "and the provisions of the UN Charter,” and accused Washington of deliberately “exacerbating the effects of illegal unilateral coercive measures and depriving Syrians of the capabilities of their homeland, and increasing their suffering."

The Foreign Ministry estimated the total cost of the "aggression, looting and sabotage…by US forces and their terrorist tools” to have now reached a staggering $115.2 billion. This figure, summarizing losses incurred between 2011 and mid-2023, includes $27.5 billion in direct losses suffered by the Syrian oil sector, broken down by:
Looting, waste and burning of an estimated 341 million barrels’ worth of oil, including the theft of an average of between 100,000-130,000 barrels per day, recently increasing to 150,000 barrels per day.
The theft and wastage of some 59.9 million cubic meters of natural gas, and 413,000 tons of domestic gas resources.
Vandalism and theft at energy production facilities amounting to $3.2 billion.
Damage from the bombardment of Syrian oil and gas facilities by the US-led coalition amounting to $2.9 billion.
Additional, secondary losses in the amount of nearly $88 billion were caused by the decrease in production “below the planned rates under normal working conditions,” according to Damascus.
As the Syrian Foreign Ministry presented its data to the UN, US looting of the country’s resources continued. On Sunday, local media reported that the US forced had smuggled some 95 oil tankers’ worth of crude out of the country into Iraq using two separate convoys.
A US soldier patrols near an oil field in al-Qahtaniyah in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, close to the border with Turkey, on June 14, 2023.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.09.2023
US Plunder of Syria Continues as Convoys Smuggle 95 Tankers’ Worth of Crude From Country
America’s oil and food smuggling activities in Syria have been made possible by the dozen US bases dotting the eastern third of the war-torn nation, with US forces first entering the country in 2016, on the pretext of the global war against Daesh (ISIS).* After Daesh was routed, US forces never left, with the Pentagon justifying their continued deployment by claiming that they are there to prevent the terrorists’ resurgence.
Damascus and its allies have dismissed these arguments, but remained unable to expel US forces by force, due to the danger of triggering an overwhelming US military retaliation against Syria (and, in the case of Damascus’s Russian and Iranian allies – a wider regional or even global war).

US occupation of Syria’s oil and food-rich areas serves as a major hindrance to the country’s reconstruction from the war. While never a major exporter of energy resources compared to some of its neighbors, including Iraq, Syria before the current crisis was able to cover its own oil and gas needs, and to earn modest export earnings. The illegal US presence on the ground, combined with crushing sanctions known as the ‘Caesar Act’, have left Syria dependent on its Russian and Iranian allies for support.

In this Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 photo, U.S. forces patrol Syrian oil fields.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.11.2019
Black Gold: Who Controls Syria’s Oil, and How Much is It All Worth?
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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