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US Smuggles 27 Truckloads of Military Equipment, Supplies Into Syria Through Iraq, Report Says

Sputnik News

18:44 GMT 07.07.2020(updated 18:47 GMT 07.07.2020)

The US beefed up its presence in oil and gas-rich northeastern Syria in October 2019, after Turkey launched an abortive invasion of the Arab Republic's Kurdish-controlled northern territories. After that, the US moved troops away from the border toward the region's oil infrastructure to prevent the Damascus government from restoring control.

The US has delivered another 27 truckloads worth of military equipment via the illegal al-Walid border crossing between Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Arab News Agency has reported, citing local sources in the al-Hasakah countryside.

According to the sources, the delivery took place on Monday evening, with the convoy said to be carrying military vehicles as well as closed refrigerator containers.

The trucks were said to have been headed for a local base the US recently established in the province.

The US continues to maintain hundreds of troops in Syria despite President Trump's promises to pull out of the country in late 2018. In recent months, the US has brought in thousands of truckloads' worth of military equipment and supplies northeastern Syria to shore up their presence and cement their control of the region's oil and natural gas resources to prevent them from falling into the control of Syria's internationally recognized government.

Russia's military revealed the extent of the US-led operation's plundering of Syria's natural resources in late October 2019 in an intelligence presentation on an enterprise involving the US military, the CIA, and local Kurdish forces to smuggle tens of millions of dollars in crude oil out of the country to sell on the black market.

In addition to plundering the region's resources, US forces and their Kurdish allies have been accused of mistreating the local population. On Sunday, local residents in Qamishli, al-Hasakah complained that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia had impeded the delivery of flour to a local bread factory, sparking bread shortages.

Before that, SANA reported that SDF forced had dismantled railway tracks in adjacent Deir ez-Zor province and sold them as scrap metal.

Along with US and SDF forces, part of northeastern Syria remains occupied by pro-Turkish militants. In recent months, Damascus has accused these groups of deliberately burning wheat crops in Jazeera and al-Hasakah to cause food shortages.

The Damascus government has previously vowed to expel all occupying forces from its territory one way or another, and has accused the US, Turkey, Israel and other nations of violating Syria's territorial integrity and international law.

© Sputnik

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