The American troops, deployed in Syria without a UN mandate, were ordered to stay and “secure” the country’s oil fields by the US president last October, despite strong condemnation from Damascus and several members of the international community.
A convoy of American military vehicles has escorted several trucks filled with crude extracted from oil fields in Syria’s Hasaka Province, currently controlled by Kurdish militia and US troops, the Syrian news agency SANA reported.
The agency cites sources in the Syrian town of Al-Yaarubiyah as saying that the convoy consisting of 35 vehicles went through the Al-Yaarubiyah border crossing on the evening of July 10th.
The news of the convoy comes a little over a week after similar reports saying that a US convoy had escorted some 30 trucks full of Syrian oil to Iraq on 1 July.
These operations are purportedly part of efforts, announced by US President Donald Trump in October 2019, to “secure” the Syrian oil. Despite promises to withdraw the troops, who were deployed illegally – without the consent of Damascus or a UN mandate, Washington maintained its military presence, solidifying positions in the oil-rich province of Hasaka, controlled by the Kurdish militia.
Damascus and Moscow have accused Washington of stealing Syria’s national resources and profiteering from smuggling the crude to nearby countries. They have repeatedly demanded that the US immediately withdraw its troops in accordance with international law. The US claims, however, that it is defending the oil fields from being recaptured by the remnants of the long-defeated Daesh terrorist organisation and that all profits from the oil go to financing the Kurds.