(Photo credit: MEHR News)
The US army has smuggled a new convoy of tankers filled with Syrian oil from the northern Hasakah governorate, passing through the illegitimate Al-Mahmoudiya border crossing into Iraq.
According to local reports on 4 July, 55 oil tankers were escorted out of Hasakah’s countryside by the US occupation forces.
US troops and their proxy militia in northern Syria – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – are in control of most of the oil fields in Hasakah and Deir Ezzor governorates, and have been regularly smuggling Syrian oil out of the country to sell it abroad.
The occupation troops have also been accused of stealing the country’s wheat supplies. On 18 June, a convoy of 40 trucks filled with Syrian wheat from the Al-Jazeera region was smuggled into US military bases in Iraq.
On the same day, another convoy with 36 vehicles filled with stolen wheat crossed the Al-Waleed border from the Tal Hamis area.
Once a major wheat producer, Syria is now facing food shortages as a result of the 11-year long war.
According to the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), nearly 60 percent of Syria’s 21 million people are “food insecure,” lacking secure access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. Meanwhile, more than a million Syrians are “severely food insecure,” or unable to survive without humanitarian assistance.
Hundreds of trucks filled with Syrian wheat and oil have been smuggled out of the war-torn country over the past 18 months alone, forcing Damascus to rely on the solidarity of regional powers to fulfill its needs.
While the US claims its presence in Syria aims to prevent the country’s vast oilfields from falling into the hands of ISIS, Damascus maintains the deployment of US occupation troops is illegal and only meant to drain the country of its resources.
Last week, the Prime Minister of Yemen, Abdulaziz Saleh bin Habtoor, accused Washington of trying to establish a similar scheme in his country.