The Cradle
US forces smuggle oil from Syria’s Hasakah to occupation bases in Iraq
Reports from the smuggling operation shed light on the precise direction and rationale of the increased US activity along the M4 highway between Syria and Iraq
By News Desk - January 18 2022
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A soldier sits atop a US military vehicle, part of a convoy arriving from northern Iraq, driving through the countryside of the Syrian northeastern city of Qamishli on 26 October, 2019. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

On 17 January, dozens of US tanker trucks smuggled crude oil from Syria’s northeastern Hasakah governorate to Iraq. The report by SANA added that the tanker trucks passed through the illegal Al-Waleed border crossing with Iraq.

Local sources in the Syrian region of Al-Yarubiah disclosed to the state news agency that convoy included a total of 111 US vehicles, which included tankers and armored trucks carrying heavy weaponry and ammunition.

The tankers set off from Syria’s vast oil fields in the northeast region, which are currently occupied by the US and their allies, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

From the Syrian end, according to the SANA report, the convoys were reinforced by six armed US military vehicles.

On 10 January footage was captured showing fleets of US trucks that stretched for kilometers, they were making their way via the Syrian M4 highway to Iraq through the Al-Waleed crossing..

On 3 January, the US occupation forces escorted a similar fleet carrying stolen Syrian oil amounting to a total of 128 vehicles.

In the last few months US army convoys have attempted to pass through Hasakah at an increasing rate, however they are often stopped and intercepted by Syrian locals or the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) as they make their way down the M4 highway.

The US has used its occupation of northeastern Syria to facilitate the smuggling and theft of oil and wheat from the region, with the assistance and collaboration of its regional allies from the SDF.

The Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Bassem Tohmeh, revealed in May 2021 that the US and its regional allies control 90 percent of crude oil reserves in the oil-rich Syrian region, with the damage to the Syrian oil and energy sector amounting to about $92 billion.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted to the US’s stealing of Syrian oil during a Senate hearing in July 2020.