File photo. A US soldier patrolling outside an oil installation in Syria’s Al-Hasakah governorate on 13 February 2021. (Photo credit: AFP)
On 10 January, Syrian media reported that the US occupation and one of its various armed groups, have set up a refinery to process stolen oil in the town of Rmelan in Al-Hasakah governorate.
According to the report, the installed oil facility has a capacity to refine 3000 barrels of oil per day. The refinery is expected to increase the looting of Syrian oil by the US occupation. The occupation has in recent weeks smuggled tens of thousands of barrels of Syrian oil into Iraq.
On 8 January, Al-Hasakah residents reported that a convoy of more than 70 US military tankers carrying stolen oil had crossed into northern Iraq through the illegal Al-Walid border crossing.
The US occupation uses the proceeds from the sale of the stolen oil to finance armed groups which have been waging a brutal war against the government of Syria since 2011.
The US occupation currently has more than 12 bases in Syria, most of them are coincidentally located in the oil producing regions. The government of Syria has accused the US of using its occupation to plunder oil and food crops such as wheat.
Damascus has also said the presence of the US forces on its territory encourages and sustains the existence of armed groups that are responsible for the nearly 11-year long armed insurgence. The US government denies these accusations and insists that its troops are in the region to stop ISIS from taking over the oil fields.
The plundering of Syrian oil by the US occupation deprives the Syria government of the revenue it needs to provide services to its citizens. It has also forced the country to depend on oil imported from other countries in the region.
Further, the US looting of wheat has led to an acute shortage of food in some parts of the country, especially those under the US occupation and its allied armed groups.