American Plunder of Syrian Oil


Photo source: Al Mayadeen

By Naveed Qazi | Editor, Globe Upfront

United States military tankers have allegedly carried thousands of litres of crude oil from the northeastern Syria province of Hasanak, to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. This assertion was made by China Daily in July 2022. 

The Chinese paper believes that it is probable that the United States is stealing oil in Syria, as ‘stealing oil is their profession’. If true, it reflects that the American greed for global oil resources has not been satiated yet. The Chinese called this a ‘bandit behaviour’ by the Americans. Its foreign ministry lashed out at Americans and released a statement: ‘The United States should respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, respond to the calls of the Syrian people, immediately lift unilateral sanctions against Syria, immediately stop plundering Syria's national resources, and make up for the harm caused to the Syrian people with concrete actions.’

Syria’s official news agency SANA revealed that one hundred forty-four tankers laden with stolen Syrian oil had entered the Iraqi territories after they had crossed the al-Mahmoudiya border crossing. This development took place only a few days after American occupation forces allowed a convoy of sixty vehicles, including tanker trucks carrying another batch of stolen Syrian oil and covered trucks, to cross the ‘illegitimate’ al-Waleed crossing into Iraq. 

According to SANA, the US occupation forces plundered these tankers carrying Syrian oil in violation of all international laws and regulations. 

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in north-eastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of ISIS extremists.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country's rich mineral resources. Even Former US President Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil. At that time, he had contradicted even his own officials, while sitting for a talk with Erdogan.

In fact, according to Syria’s Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources, Washington is stealing more than eighty per cent of oil resources every day. As per their data, Syrian oil production for the first half of 2022 amounted to 14.5 million barrels, an average of 80,300 a day. But, it has accused the US occupying forces of the theft of 66,000 barrels a day, which amounts to just over 83 per cent of Syria’s oil output. The claims from these regular reports from the ground have been backed by footage and photographs.

Besides oil, Americans are also accused of smuggling gold, and stealing wheat, with tonnes of grains taken by the occupying forces, leaving many Syrians hungry due to the impact of US-imposed sanctions, as per an Oped by Steve Sweeney in Morning Star Online. It reflects how Americans are becoming more naked in their plundering, with and without an excuse, showing an ugly tragedy in Syria because resources are dwindling at a faster rate. As Caesar Syria Civilian Protection, signed by Trump Act, has blocked all aid to war-torn Syria, until Bashar al-Assad remains in power, Syria is bound to suffer in persistent economic chaos.

According to Sweeney, the news of Americans stealing oil in Syria is not quite out in the public, because journalists are too afraid to speak about it. He believes that it is confirmed by the Syrian Democratic Forces itself. Conversely, it is also alleged that SDF have themselves handed over local oil reserves to local companies, to save them from the reach of Assad’s regime. 

Americans also have been aligning with several Syrian militant groups who work against the Assad regime. In fact, a Syrian journalist named Mohammad al-Saghir remains behind bars through the actions of some armed group controlling northeast Syria, since 2019, with colleagues, because of his reporting on the theft of wheat and oil by the US occupiers.

Presumably, the thirst for stealing oil for Americans became more apparent when a widely criticised oil deal struck between the SDF and the US Delta Crescent Energy in 2020 expired in April 2021, after US President Joe Biden cancelled a waiver, which allowed trading in Syria.

In July 2022, Putin also vented regarding the immoral materialistic acts done by the Americans. He accused Americans of ‘looting’ Syrian oil despite having imposed sanctions on Damascus. He demanded that the American army must immediately vacate Syria’s east Euphrates territories, adding that American presence has given ‘disastrous results.’ 

The Americans occupy more than thirty per cent of Syrian territory, which includes oil and gas-rich Deiz Ezzor, Al Hasakah, and Raqqa regions. The oil and gas produced in the US-occupied region have already interested the American energy corporations, to which the Trump regime had numerous ties. 


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