Middle east

Plunder of the Poor is in Your Houses: US Ramps Up Theft of Syrian Oil and Grain

A displaced Syrian woman uses wood twigs for cooking as children look on, at the Al-Younani camp on the outskirts of the northern city of Raqa, amid a shortage of fuel and gas, on February 8, 2024.

US forces advanced into oil-rich northeastern Syria in 2016 and 2017 on the pretext of fighting IS,* but never left once the terrorists’ self-proclaimed ‘caliphate’ was defeated, stealing billions of dollars’ worth of oil and food, and threatening to fire on Syrian government forces if they attempt to restore the country’s territorial integrity.US occupation forces have resumed the plunder of Syria’s oil and food resources following a brief lull.

Local sources in the al-Yarubiya countryside near the border with Iraq told the Syrian Arab News Agency Monday that a convoy of 69 vehicles, including 45 oil tankers and 24 trucks carrying foodstuffs from grain silos in al-Hasakah governorate slipped across the illegal Mahmoudiya crossing, thought to be heading for US bases in Iraq.

Syrian authorities consider the Mahmoudiya border checkpoint illegitimate because it remains in the hands of the US and its local allies, outside the control of Syria’s internationally recognized government.Monday’s act of plunder follows a temporary lull in US looting activities, with SANA last reporting on the theft of resources from Syria’s northeast on February 6, several weeks before Iraqi militias agreed to dial down attacks on US bases in Syria and Iraq as part of a broader bid to cool regional tensions.Iraqi and US officials told US media on Sunday that rocket attacks against US bases in Syria had resumed with the targeting of an illegal US military facility in Rmelan, with the attacks coming a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani returned from his visit to the United States.WorldUS Military Base in Syria Attacked For First Time in Months22 April, 07:05 GMTSyrian governorates north and east of the Euphrates River including al-Hasakah, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa account for upwards of 90 percent of the country’s comparatively modest oil reserves, and a substantial portion of its most fertile agricultural lands.Before Washington and its regional allies launched a CIA-coordinated dirty war against the government of President Bashar Assad in 2011, Syria enjoyed self-sufficiency in both energy and food production. The US occupation of the northeastern third of the country after 2017 deprived Damascus of these crucial resources, blocking efforts to rebuild from the devastating conflict.President Trump stated openly and repeatedly during his tenure that US forces in northeastern Syria were in the country “only for the oil,” but his successors in the Biden administration assure that the US occupation is designed merely to “prevent the resurgence” of IS terrorists.Behind the scenes, the US occupation and plunder of Syria’s resources is part of a broader campaign, which includes crushing Caesar Act sanctions designed to starve Syria into submission after the failure of the dirty war.WorldIsrael Attacked Air Defense Objects in South Syria, Causing Damage – Syrian Defense Ministry19 April, 07:00 GMTThe US campaign has suffered a series of setbacks, most notably after last year’s decision by a number of regional powers to normalize relations with Damascus and invited Syria to rejoin the Arab League. Russia and Iran have assisted the country by providing food and energy assistance, and have facilitated normalization talks between Syria and Turkiye. Damascus has indicated that it will agree to normalization if Turkish forces end their own occupation of parts of northern Syria.Russian and Iranian assistance has helped Syria to survive, but hasn’t been able to undo the staggering toll exacted by the US occupation. Last fall, Syria’s Foreign Ministry sent letters to the United Nations highlighting the scale of the economic devastation caused by the US plunder of the country, estimating that the total cost of the “aggression, looting and sabotage…by US forces and their terrorist tools” had reached over $115 billion. The UN says Syria will need the equivalent of between $250 and $400 billion to rebuild from the US-sponsored dirty war.Syrian forces do not engage US occupation forces directly amid threats by American forces to launch devastating counterstrikes. However, Iraqi militias do not hesitate to wage their own campaign – including rocket and drone strikes on US bases on top of Syria’s major oil and gas fields. These attacks have occasionally resulted in traumatic brain injuries and fatalities among US troops and contractors, prompting the Pentagon to launch large-scale attacks targeting the militias.AnalysisUS Wants ‘Another Kosovo’ in Syria’s Northwest, Keep Control of Oil, Wheat in Northeast4 April, 02:15 GMT* Also known as ISIS or ISIL, a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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