DAMASCUS/WASHINGTON, D.C. – A large US military convoy entered oil fields in northeastern Syria despite widespread condemnation of the deployment as being tantamount to robbery. The United States sent new deployments to the Syrian provinces of Hasakah and Deir Ezzor from neighboring Iraq on Sunday, according to the Al-Ikhbariya TV.
The US vehicles were carrying logistical equipment that would be provided to the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish militant group, in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported that the convoy contained 4×4 pickups, ambulances, minibusses and 100 rigs filled with fuel oil.
According to the report, the deployment is the second of its kind in less than a month. Earlier this month, the US army deployed armored vehicles, pickups, heavy construction equipment and about 150 rigs to the region. The deployments come after President Donald Trump stated in October that the US troops would remain in Syria to “secure” the oil fields there.
Damascus, as well as regional movers and shakers, voiced their strong opposition to Trump’s decision to seize Syrian oil fields. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated that the US attempts to control Syria’s oil fields were illegal and amount to robbery.
Trump’s decision came after he initially ordered the withdrawal of all US troops from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for a Turkish incursion into the region. Ankara says it wants to eliminate Kurdish YPG militants which it regards as “terrorists” affiliated with the homegrown PKK militant group.
The developments come as Damascus is in great need of its major oil deposits in order to address its energy needs and rebuild the country amid crippling Western invasions and sanctions. Syria is currently extracting oil at only 10 percent of its pre-war capacity.