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To the Last Drop: US Continues Looting of Syria’s Oil Even Amid Attacks on Illegal Bases

© AFP 2023 / DELIL SOULEIMANUS troops patrol in the countryside of Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border, on February 18, 2023.
US troops patrol in the countryside of Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border, on February 18, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2023
US forces across Iraq and northeastern and southern Syria have come under intense rocket and drone attacks by local militias in recent weeks over Washington’s fervent support for Tel Aviv amid the war in Gaza. Yet even amid the chaos, the Pentagon has apparently still found time to engage in its favorite pastime in Syria: stealing the nation’s oil.
US occupation forces in Syria have plundered another large batch of oil, with sources in the Syrian border town of al-Yarubiyah telling local media that a convoy of 50 trucks loaded with oil drove across the border into Iraq using the illegal Mahmoudiyah crossing point, which remains outside the Damascus government’s control.
Sources indicated the convoy appeared to be headed toward US bases in northern Iraq.
American troops occupying energy-rich eastern Syria’s oil and gas fields, including forces guarding the Omar oil and Conoco gas fields, the largest oil and gas repositories in the country, respectively, have come under attack repeatedly in recent weeks amid the escalation of tensions in the region owing to the Gaza war.
The Pentagon revealed Tuesday that its troops had been attacked 66 times, 34 times in Syria and 32 in Iraq, since October 17, with servicemen suffering at least 62 injuries in the violence, not counting the estimated eight injuries sustained Monday in a missile strike on the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq.
US soldier in Iraq - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.11.2023
Pentagon Reveals US Forces Were Attacked 66 Times Since Uptick in Middle East Violence
Iraqi militias hailing themselves as the Islamic Resistance have claimed responsibility for the series of missile, drone and rocket artillery attacks, and have vowed to continue the hit and run strikes so long as the US continues to support Israel in the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.
The US has responded to the attacks on its bases with a series of strikes in Syria, with an October 26 airstrike targeting what the Pentagon claimed were “IRGC sites,” and additional strikes carried out November 8, and 12th. On Tuesday, US officials also revealed that its jets had also carried out two series of strikes inside Iraq against “Iranian-backed militants,” with Baghdad characterizing the attacks as flagrant and “unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”
US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned to the country in 2014 with the rise of Daesh (ISIS)*, the jihadist insurgency created in large part due to the power vacuum created in the country after the US invasion of 2003. Washington reclassified its military presence in Iraq from a "combat mission" to an "advise and assist" roll in 2021, ostensibly to help Baghdad prevent Daesh’s resurgence, despite demands from the Iraqi parliament that US forces withdraw completely.
US troops patrol near an oil well in al-Qahtaniyah in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, close to the border with Turkey, on June 14, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.11.2023
More US Troops Suffer Brain Injuries as Militias Ramp Up Attacks on Bases in Iraq, Syria
American troops in Syria have had even less of a justification for their continued illegal presence, with the war-torn nation’s internationally recognized government consistently reiterating that American forces were never invited into Syria, and must end their occupation immediately.
The Biden administration has maintained and expanded the dozen or so bases in Syria in coordination with local Kurdish forces who are in de facto control of the area, and justified their presence using the Daesh boogeyman, dropping its predecessor’s rhetoric about being in Syria “only for the oil.” Damascus and its allies have rejected US claims, and accused Washington of creating and sponsoring Daesh.
In September, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent the United Nations general secretary and Security Council president letters calling for an end to Washington’s aggression, calculating that the CIA proxy war against Syria and the occupation of its northeastern territories has cost Damascus over $115 billion in lost revenue from energy, including the looting, wastage and burning of 341 million barrels of crude oil, and the waste and theft of nearly 60 million cubic meters of natural gas.
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
Syria Reveals Staggering Cost of US Looting and Sabotage of Energy Sector
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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