File photo. A US soldier patrolling outside an oil installation in Syria’s Al-Hasakah governorate on 13 February 2021. (Photo credit: AFP)
The US Army and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have announced new training exercises by the ‘international coalition’ to fight ISIS cells in Syria’s oil-rich region of Hasakah.
The announcement followed recent reports about the US establishing a new military base in the region on 3 September.
The first exercise included live-fire drills in one of the villages located between the Syrian-Iraqi-Turkish border on 7 September.
A local source told Sputnik that the exercise took place near a village in the Malikiyah region of Hasakah governorate, and included US armored vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles, and a number of US officers and soldiers to supervise the exercise.
The same source told the Russian news agency that villages and towns were shaken by the explosions, as the US troops reportedly used TOW missiles, RPGs, and Kalashnikovs.
Local Kurdish media reported about the exercise of the US army and its partners, quoting a US commander familiar with the maneuver about the “continued cooperation with the SDF to achieve the final defeat of ISIS.”
The maneuver was the first of its kind in the area and is seen as an attempt to thwart the military rapprochement by the Syrian Army, as the US has been accused by the Syrian government of stealing $107 billion worth of oil since the beginning of the war in 2011.
Last month month, the Syrian Oil Ministry released a statement saying that the US army plunders “66,000 barrels of oil every single day,” amounting to around 83 percent of Syria’s daily oil production.
According to local sources, US forces have also deployed a “large balloon” for spying and protecting its recently established illegal base in the area.
However, fossil fuels like oil and gas are not the only strategy the US uses in Syria. The country is also responsible for the theft of Syria’s wheat, meanwhile, close to 70% of Syrians suffer from food insecurity, according to the World Food Programme.