The Russian Ministry of Defense published satellite images on Saturday proving US smuggling of Syrian oil through tankers.
The photographs prove that Syrian oil was sent overseas under US military guard before and after the defeat of Daesh [ISIS], said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. General Igor Konashenkov.
“Space intelligence images showed that the oil was actively extracted and massively exported for processing outside Syria, under the reliable protection of US troops, before and after the defeat of the Daesh terrorists.”
Thus, the image of the Tall Daman oil collection point (east of Deir-ez-Zor province), captured on August 23, shows a traffic jam. “There were 90 vehicle units, including 23 tank trucks,” the photo comment says.
According to the Russian general, Americans produce oil in Syria with the help of equipment provided in violation of their own sanctions.
“Under the protection of the US military and employees of US private military companies, the tankers are smuggled from oil fields in eastern Syria to other countries. In the event of any attack on one of these caravans, special operations forces and US combat aviation are immediately involved to protect it,” he said.
Konashenkov added that now the barrel of smuggled Syrian oil is estimated at US $38, so that US government services monthly revenue exceeds US $30 million.
On Friday, Pentagon Chief Mark Esper said the United States would soon take steps to bolster positions around the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor to prevent terrorists from accessing oil fields.
According to Esper, Washington is considering how to deploy forces in the region to ensure the safety of the oil fields.
What Washington is currently doing – the capture and maintenance under its military control of the oil fields in eastern Syria is saying simply, international state banditry”, Konashenkov was quoted as saying.
He said the cause of this activity “is far from the ideals of freedom and the anti-terrorism slogans proclaimed by Washington.”
“Neither in international law nor in US law itself – there is no and there can be no legal purpose for US troops to guard and defend Syrian hydrocarbon deposits from Syria itself and its people,” said the Defense Ministry representative from Russia.
The Russian general also stated that all hydrocarbon deposits located in Syria “do not belong to Daesh terrorists and not to the ‘American defenders against Daesh terrorists’, but exclusively to the Syrian Arab Republic.”