On February 24, the Syrian Arab news agency SANA reported that the United States was sending another military escort to Syria, which again acknowledged Washington’s ongoing occupation policy in this Middle Eastern country. It has been continued since 2014 without any UN sanctions and without any permission from official Damascus authorities.
The US military convoy from Iraq, consisting of 23 transport units, including 18 trucks with weapons, ammunition and logistics equipment, as well as 5 empty tank trucks, crossed the border at the illegal Al-Waleed border crossing. The military convoy headed to the Rmelan district in the north-east of the Al-Hasakah Governorate, where the US military bases, in particular, Al-Tanf, are located. The American convoy was accompanied by two vehicles belonging to the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces, equipped with small arms.
It is assumed that the next batch of weapons delivered by the United States to Syria is intended for the military bases of Kurdish insurgents from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) located in the north of the country, who regularly receive assistance from the Americans. The tank trucks in the above mentioned US military convoy are, for sure, intended to transport the oil as part of continued Washington’s pillage of Syrian oil resources, most of which are concentrated in the east of the country where the major Syrian oil fields are located: the Conoco, Al Omar, and Al Tanak oil fields are located on the left bank of the Euphrates, in the area controlled by the pro-American SDF. US Kurdish allies are also actively involved in smuggling oil from Syria, and in exchange, the Americans supply them with weapons.
The Kurdish illegal armed groups that appeared in the midst of the civil war in Syria managed to gain support in the United States, which was facilitated by lobbyists hired by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava) to build links with the American establishment. The names of those people in the USA who promote the interests of SDF in the United States, can be easily found in the database of the US Department of Justice, which contains relevant information provided in accordance with the law about registration of FARA foreign agents.
The Syrian Democratic Forces were formed in the midst of the civil war which began in Syria in 2011, right after the “Arab spring,” their official date of formation is October 11, 2015. The skeleton of this organization consisted of Kurds, and also includes Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmens, Armenians and Circassians. By now, SDF has taken control over parts of the North-East of the Syrian Arabian Republic (SAR). The United States is interested in having the Kurds as the opposition to the official regime in Damascus, and for this reason, in 2013 the administration of the then President Barack Obama took a decision to supply weapons to that armed group. However, in July 2017, when Donald Trump was in office, this “CIA’s secret program for weapons provisioning and training of certain groups of insurgents” who were fighting against the government of Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian President, was terminated. Already in early 2018, SDF launched their first representative office in Washington, the US mission of the Syrian Democratic Council, which was headed by the US citizen, Ahmed Al-Khendi, having declared in its US registration documents its goals. The Kurds managed to establish relations with a number of MPs, including a representative of the Republican party, Marco Rubio.
In 2021, with the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidential term in the White House, the US office of the SDF expanded its activity, including mining and sale of illegally extracted Syrian oil with the participation of Delta Crescent Energy, a US-based company registered in Delaware. Up to three million barrels of raw materials are extracted monthly at the fields in the Al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor Governorates. About a third of the stolen oil is sold to the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq at a price of USD 35-40 per barrel, with the US support. According to Al-Monitor, this “cooperation” was made possible with the support of the White House and under the protection of the US military.
Hundreds of terrorists in Syria were released to join the US-controlled armed groups, some of which have been delivered to the territory of the Al-Tanf zone. The US intelligence agencies plan to offer to the extremist cells in Damascus and Latakia to commit actions against the Syrian, Russian and Iranian military forces, and try to arrange a media campaign to provoke protest sentiments in the Syrian civil society.
With its illegal activities in Syria, the US military continues to kill hundreds of civilians in this country. At the same time, the United States kept hiding the real data on the number of civilians killed after the air raids in Syria, as well as in Afghanistan and Iraq, as evidenced by the results of the investigation by the New York Times, in particular. So, on February 22, as a result of another armed attack by landing troops in the village of Ad-Dakhla in the east of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, the US armed forces together with SDF commenced intense and random fire attack at the residential buildings and agricultural land. As a result, the elder of the Al-Bakkara tribe, Ibrahim Al-Omar, was killed.
Alexander Efimov, Russia’s ambassador in Syria, in his interview with RIA Novosti on February 9, 2022, made the following comments on the US presence in Syria: “First of all, I shall repeat what has been repeatedly said: the presence in Syria of the forces of the so-called “international coalition” led by the United States has no legal basis — such as the resolutions by the UN Security Council or the consent of the legitimate Syrian authorities – and this presence should be terminated immediately. Moreover, the United States obviously has not succeeded in combating terrorism in Syria. In addition to the Trans-Euphrates region, there is another “grey zone” that emerged thanks to the efforts of the Americans, and located in the south of the SAR – the Al-Tanf zone, where Magavir Al-Saura gunmen (an organization banned in Russia) do whatever they want, acting in the atmosphere of impunity and permissiveness, in particular, they hinder the overdue resettlement of the Rukban camp for IDPs located there.
In other words, they divide terrorists into “bad guys” and “good guys,” many of them are given a “second start,” and they continue to accumulate power potential and radicalize civilians. And the longer the United States stays here, the more powerful the delayed-time bomb may turn out to be. We shouldn’t forget the fact that Washington continues to support the illegal appropriation of the SAR’s natural resources – primarily oil and wheat in the North-East of the country.
These facts are sufficient enough to persistently demand the illegal American occupation of the SAR to be terminated.”
This appeal to terminate the US illegal aggressive operation in Syria and to have the presence of the US occupation forces in Syria recognized as illegal by the UN, is a burning issue today, especially in the context of the criticism against Russia by Washington and NATO countries regarding Russia’s military special operation in the Donbass. Recall that this operation is intended to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, and it was started because no reaction from the Ukrainian authorities followed to stop the policy of genocide of the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine, a policy supported by Kiev militants since 2014, which resulted in killing hundreds of civilians.
It makes one wonder, how come the political demagogues from Washington and Western Europe have the right to criticize other countries, impose unilateral sanctions, at the same time being silent about their war crimes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and earlier in Yugoslavia? Thus, they are demonstrating “double standards” in assessing international events and understating Washington’s blatant violation of international norms!
Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.