The US military has reportedly deployed new reinforcements to Syria’s oil-rich eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr despite the Syrian government’s vehement opposition to the presence of American troops on the Arab state’s soil.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that a convoy of military vehicles, loaded with logistical equipment as well as ammunition, entered an illegal base set up by American occupation forces inside Kuniko oil field, located 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) east of the provincial capital city of Dayr al-Zawr, on Friday evening.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern and eastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the troops deployment are aimed at preventing the oilfields in the areas from falling into the hands of Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
The Syrian government, however, says the deployments are meant to plunder the country’s resources.
Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Bassam Tomeh told state-run and Arabic-language al-Ikhbariyah Syria television news network on March 18 that the US and its allied Takfiri terrorist groups are looting oil reserves in the war-stricken Arab country, revealing that Washington controls 90 percent of crude reserves in oil-rich northeastern Syria.
“Americans and their allies are targeting the Syrian oil wealth and its tankers just like pirates,” the Syrian oil minister said.
He noted that the cost of direct and indirect damage to the Syrian oil sector stands at more than $92 billion.
The US first confirmed its looting of Syrian oil during a Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in late July last year.
On July 30 and during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo confirmed for the first time that an American oil company would begin work in northeastern Syria, which is controlled by militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Syrian government strongly condemned the agreement, saying that the deal was struck to plunder the country’s natural resources, including oil and gas, under the sponsorship and support of the administration of former US president Donald Trump.