Russia, citing satellite imagery, says the United States has been smuggling Syrian oil to other countries under the protection of its troops before and after the defeat of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that “the space intelligence images showed that 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.”
Konashenkov stressed that the convoys were guarded by US private military companies and special operations forces.
“Tank trucks guarded by US military servicemen and private military companies smuggle oil from fields in eastern Syria to other countries and in the event of any attack on such a convoy, US special operations forces and combat aviation are immediately used to protect it,” Konashenkov said.
The Russian defense ministry spokesman added that the Syrian oil was extracted with the use of the equipment supplied by leading Western corporations bypassing all US sanctions.
Given that the cost of one barrel of oil smuggled from Syria is $38, the monthly revenue of that “private business” exceeds $30 million, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Konashenkov as saying.
“Revenues from smuggling Syrian oil arrive at numbered bank accounts of US private military companies and intelligence services through brokerage firms that interact with it,” Konashenkov said. “To secure such a continuous financial flow free from control and taxes, the top officials at the Pentagon and Langley will be willing to guard and protect oil wells in Syria from the imaginary ‘hidden cells’ of Daesh indefinitely.”
In a major U-turn in US military policy, the White House announced on October 6 that the US would be withdrawing its forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region.
Three days later, Turkey launched the offensive with the aim of purging the northern Syrian regions near its border of US-backed Kurdish militants, whom it views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump approved of a new plan to keep 500 American troops in northeastern Syria to allegedly protect oil fields and keep them from falling into the hands of the Daesh terrorist group.
Pentagon chief Mark Esper confirmed on Friday that the United States plans to strengthen its military positions in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr province in the near future to allegedly prevent terrorists from accessing oil fields.
The United States is studying how to move forces in the region “to ensure the safety of oil fields,” Esper added.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Defense Ministry published satellite intelligence images proving that oil from Syria was sent abroad under the guard of US servicemen before and after the defeat of the Daesh terrorists, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Saturday.
The ministry said that “the space intelligence images showed that 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.”
Commenting on the satellite intelligence, Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said US operations in eastern Syria and its actions regarding Syrian oil could only be described as “international state banditism.” He added that Syria’s oil belongs to the Arab Republic, and not to Daesh or to “American protectors from Daesh.”
According to Russian intelligence, the illegal US-supervised extraction of Syrian oil was being carried out by “leading American corporations” and private military contractors, with US special forces and air power used for protection. Konashenkov said the estimated monthly revenue of this ‘private enterprise’ was over $30 million, and that for that kind of money, the Pentagon and the CIA would be “ready to ‘guard’ Syrian oil wells from ‘hidden Daesh cells’ indefinitely.”
The Defence Ministry spokesman pointed to several examples of the US-led operations. On August 23, satellites picked up a cluster of about 90 vehicles, including 23 tanker trucks, clustered at the Daman collection point, about 42 km east of Deir ez-Zor province. Then, on September 5, 25 vehicles, 22 of them fuel trucks, were spotted in Hasakah province. On September 8, 36 more vehicles, 32 of them tankers, were spotted in the vicinity of Der ez-Zor, with 41 more vehicles, 34 of them fuel trucks, spotted in the Mayadin area in Deir ez-Zor.
Konashenkov cited a US-controlled company called ‘Sadcab’ or ‘Sedcab’ created under the auspicies of the local Kurdish autonomy, was charged with exporting the oil, with proceeds going to numbered accounts of US military contractors and intelligence services.
Pentagon chief Mark Esper said Friday that the US intended to take measures in the near future to strengthen its position in the Syrian region of Deir ez-Zor in order to prevent terrorists from accessing oil fields. According to the defense secretary, Washington is studying how to move forces in the region so that “to ensure the safety of oil fields.”
President Trump raised eyebrows in a tweet last week when he said the ceasefire between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces was “holding up nicely” and that the US had “secured the Oil.” In Saturday’s presentation, the Russian military offered insights into the scale and scope of the oil Mr. Trump appeared to be talking about.
IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB’s head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country’s conservative political faction. Press TV is headquartered in Tehran with offices and bureaus around the world; including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip.
*All posts on behalf of PressTV are made by Jim W. Dean