Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator

Apache helicopters of the US occupation forces flew low Sunday morning, according to residents of the Adla village, in the Shaddadi countryside, south of Hasaka, as they dropped ‘thermal balloons, an incendiary weapon, causing the wheat fields to explode into flames while the hot dry winds fanned the raging fire.

After delivering their fiery pay-load, the helicopters flew close to homes in an aggressive manner, which caused residents and especially small children to fear for their lives.  The military maneuver was delivering a clear message: don’t sell your wheat to the Syrian government. Head of Hasaka Agricultural Directorate Rajab Salameh said in a statement to SANA that several fires have broken out in agricultural fields in Tal Tamer countryside, as well.

The US illegal bases in Syria fly Apache helicopters.  US President Trump portrays himself as a champion of the American Christians, and he has millions of loyal supporters among the Christian churches across the US.  However, the Christian Bible states in Deuteronomy 20:19 that it is a sin against God to destroy food or food crops even during times of war.

Bread is the most important staple in Syria, and two weeks into the annual wheat harvest, Damascus is keen on securing its supply of grain, while beset by the global pandemic.  On May 4, President Assad said in a meeting with his COVID-19 team that “our most difficult internal challenge is securing basic goods, especially foodstuffs.”

Since the beginning of the US-NATO attack on Syria in 2011, wheat production has fallen from an average of 4.1 million tons per year to just 2.2 million tons in 2019. Syria had been a wheat importer but switched to being an exporter of grain in the 1990s.

According to the UN, Syria was hit by acute food insecurity in 2019, with approximately 6.5 million people considered food insecure.

The northern provinces of Hasakah, Raqqa, Aleppo, and Deir e-Zor, in addition to Hama in central Syria, accounting for 96% of total national wheat production. Using fire as a weapon of war, 85,000 hectares of grain were burnt in 2019, and the Syrian government was forced to import 2.7 million tons to cover the losses. Destroying the Syrian agriculture has been a war strategy used by various enemies of Syria, and has resulted in a mass migration of residents in the villages to Germany, by way of Greece, via the smuggler-boats in Turkey.

The Syrian ‘breadbasket’, the northeastern region, is now controlled by the Kurdish-dominated Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA). In 2019, almost half of the country’s domestic wheat production was produced within the AA territory, and they managed to buy it from farmers at a price lower than offered by Damascus, which suggests that Damascus may be denied the current harvest.

On May 9, Raqqa began its wheat harvest and photos of fires spread rapidly across various social media.  Competition between the AA and Damascus means the Syrian government will be forced to import grains to meet the domestic demand of about 4.3 million tons.

Youssef Qassem, the General Director of the Syrian Grain Establishment, said 200,000 tons of wheat from Russia has been ordered, and a ship carrying 26,000 tons of wheat coming from Russia had arrived at the port of Tartus, with further shipments to arrive. He added that the wheat is immediately moved from the port to the mills, and said “Preparations are underway to receive the wheat when the harvest season begins next month where 49 centers have been equipped to facilitate the reception of wheat and pay the farmers,” while pointing out that the reopening of the Aleppo-Damascus road has contributed greatly to reducing the costs of transporting wheat.

The AA has talked repeatedly to the Syrian government in Damascus, concerning the future of the northeast, but has not resolved their differences. Ilham Ahmed, co-president of the Executive Council of AA, has been negotiating with Damascus and she is also working closely with the US government representatives in Syria.  Ilham Ahmed is rumored to be the one who gave the idea recently for the US military to target a specific farm in Hasaka, after she had met with Syrian Arab tribal leaders, and found some opposition to selling to the AA.

The armed wing of the AA is the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, who partnered with the US occupation forces in the fight against ISIS, which ended in 2017. Even though Trump allowed President Erdogan of Turkey to invade Syria, the US military is still working in support of the SDF and AA on many levels. The Kurds and their US ally hold the wheat as a trump card in ongoing negotiations.

“Assad needs access to cereal crops in northeast Syria to prevent a bread crisis in the areas of western Syria that he controls,” Syria analyst Nicholas Heras said. “Wheat is a weapon of great power in this next phase of the Syrian conflict,” said Heras, and he added that the Kurds and their US ally “have a significant stockpile of this wheat weapon. It can be used to apply pressure on the (Syrian government), and on Russia, to force concessions in the UN-led diplomatic process.”

In June 2019, the AA stopped wheat from going to territory controlled by the Syrian government. Three provinces which account for nearly 70 percent of the country’s wheat production lie mostly in the hands of the SDF.  “We will not allow any grain of wheat to get out” this year (2019), Barodo said in an interview in Qamishli city. However, the plan bowed to pressure from farmers, who demanded to be able to sell to the Syrian government at a better price than the AA was paying.  The Syrian government operates three wheat collection centers in Hasaka, which allows farmers the choice to sell to the ‘Kurdish authorities’, or the Syrian government.

The Kurds are a minority in Syria, and even in the northeastern region, they are a minority, despite being in ‘control’. The non-Kurdish population is a mix of Syrian Arabs, Syrian Christians, Syrian Armenians and many of them have suffered under the Kurdish administration, which saw non-Kurds being ethnically cleansed, as they lost homes, shops, and farms at the hands of the SDF.

Syria was before 2011, one of the world’s most important agricultural sources of hard durum wheat.  Italyfamous for its pasta, bought hard durum wheat from Syria for decades. During the occupation of Reqaa by ISIS, they shipped by truckloads the wheat stores, which amounted to the equivalent of 8 years of Syrian wheat.  ISIS turned to their trusted business partner, President Erdogan of Turkey, and Erdogan bought the wheat from them.  Erdogan sold the stolen Syrian wheat to Europe and Italy once again had its favorite Syrian wheat running through its industrial pasta machines. The Italians have eaten pasta made of the stolen Syrian wheat.  Perhaps it has left a bitter taste in their mouths.

The US is using wheat as a weapon of war in Syria

About Author:  Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Donald Trump was so thrilled by HIS ASSASSINATION of the beloved General Soleimani, whenever he sees a chance to cause unbearable pain to the people of Syria or Iran, he seizes it. Like a ravenous and rabid canine pouncing on its prey.

    I am Syrian American. My great, great Grandfather Emir Abdelkader Jazairi was so similar to Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce.

    They both refused to kill.

    Seeing my Grandfather’s country (where as a Muslim, he protected Christians), being destroyed by offshore, offplanet, offworld entities so that they can seize the extraterrestrial artifacts hidden there, is beyond words.

    Honestly, I have no words for this.

    • Spasiba. Good site. But changing away from Syria news to Europe and beyond, Russians can’t help themselves with the “Dems” being the problem, be it on RT or any other RU site. “The Plundering of Ukraine by Corrupt American Democrats”. Republicans and their money (and they own it all) are the most corrupt politicians always in the rear of Israel, but it’s the “dimograts” who are at fault. Lol.

  2. Ya well, was Agent Orange really dumped on half of So. Vietnam to delete the foliage and stop charlie from gaining a food source , or was the operation three fold. In other words – were the soldiers and civilians targeted along with the financial gain ? Fifty years later – Yes.

  3. I seriously doubt if Trump (himself) picked up a telephone and personally ordered some bastards operating under the American flag in Syria to set afire wheat crops and endangering little children in so doing. This website is so filled with a profound hatred for the physical Orange persona of D J Trump it makes for comical reading sometimes. This is not to say some bastards didn’t set fire to the Grain. I’d say its plain that Trump has no real day to day control of the American Military, and again, who or what exactly is the American Military, especially in the ME? How is it the ‘Terrorists’ ISIS, Al Quada and all the others, whatever their Arabic names are, seem, nay, ARE being supplied with American equipment?

    Just one example I can give and I’ve asked this question here before; How were the numerous ‘terrorists’ able to get what must be thousands of Tacoma pick up trucks? For years there were countless images of these with Abdul the Arab perched on the back manning a machine gun usually pointed skywards. I checked with Toyota and THE ONLY Tacoma Factory on Earth is in San Antonio Texas.

    How did so many of these vehicles fall into the hands of the cuthroats?

    • Your ideas are interesting but unsound. Of course he ordered it though he certainly would have been told to do it by Pompeo who was told by Netanyahu. Of course the president personally directs things like this, this is exactly what the commander in chief does.
      This could not be done without approval, whatsoever.

    • Just like the CEO of a corporation or company is accountable for everything that occurs during their term so is the POTUS accountable for all that occurs under his watch especially since the DOD is part of the US govt paid for by the taxpayers it quite rightly deserves extra attention. So yes Trump is responsible and this is yet another example of his incompetency. The list is growing adding this to covid19, the Venezuelan coup fail and others it’s getting to be quite comical watching Trump stumble from one phuck up to another.

    • Hey Bernie, you’re so funny with your “Abdul the Arab” and your doubt that he would be “endangering little children”, and then you talk about comical reading. What are you a comedian ?

      Trump is personality trying to kill 85 million Iranians women and children included with his personal maximum pressure. And yes he personally engaged a psycho like Pompeo to do it.

  4. Several decades ago as a 17 year old student in the mandatory ROTC at Michigan State University the WW2 and Korean War veterans on the ROTC faculty made it very clear that actions such as destruction of civilian food supplies were war crimes and it was not simply the right but the DUTY of all military personnel to refuse to carry out such orders. Assuming the article is correct that US military personnel deliberately destroyed civilian food supplies not only those who shamefully carried out this criminal act but most particularly those who ordered this war crime must be prosecuted by the US. If the US fails in its duty to prosecute then prosecution by an international tribunal of appropriate jurisdiction. This crime against humanity must not stand unpunished.

  5. So now I’m a “sissy,” Jim? Does it take one to know one? There was no ‘reply’ status applied to your loud-mouthed comment. Having a bad day? Just lashing-out abuse to improve your mood? Pathetic?

  6. US military has a long history of attacking food crops, (civilian infrastructure) attacking civilians, and infrastructure. Kill as many people as possible, starve the rest to death. Russia will likely have yet another record year for crops. In the mean time SAA, and it’s allies can have US Government feed , and supply them. A bonus of disrupting communications, logistics, etc. In the rear areas where defenses aren’t so strong usually. Rommel, knew how best to do that.

  7. If there would be civil referendums held about NATO membership in its member countries, none would remain, except the usual angloamerican suspects, perhaps Israel would like to vote themselves in, in accordance with World Jewish Congress wishes. NATO is based on decades of gradual series of manufactured threats, reccuring Soviets, reccurent Nazis, commie Asians, dangerous Iranians, abominable Takfirs, but the pattern is always the same. NATO is also the worst military empire ever created surpassing anything as such, Romans, Mongols, Ottomans, the Crown, etc. Hitler/Mussolini/Lenin/Stalin/Mao then and now
    Putin/Assad/Milosevic/Tudjman/Kim Jong/Gaddafi are evil and are to be blamed for and associated with everything that is wrong with our world. Noone from US-UK even got court martialed through this tragic period of enormous human suffering due to NATO war crimes.

    • Why does it matter to you if you’re too much a sissy to read it ?
      If you want to stop the Zionist Khazar Atheist criminal Banking Cabal, then you’ll need to get to know the enemy. Well, the Cabal has studied the goyim, their own blunders from the failures made in the earlier attempts to reach the same objectives it’s well on it’s way to reaching. If the Cabal is successful in keeping them isolated, then the vaccines that will be forced, at gunpoint, to every individual.
      “United we stand, divided we fall.” The vaccines, combined with isolation of one, or one family units, control of the food supply a kill rate of 75%, or higher is possible. Testing in Africa on the population’s of people unknowingly became lab rats, showed this result with Ebola virus. (a Corona Virus, derivitive) tests on healthy people the kill rate at best was 50%. With competent medical care, much less. The question is, do you wish to live,fighting for the chance, or at least dying on your feet. Or, living on your knees until you’re killed ?

    • Jim Allen

      Excuse His Bullshit EXCUSES BUT HE Won’t Ever Read Talmud because it takes WORK to Read IT or He’d have Found out Something ……..

    • The US Government is the secondary issue, The City of London is the headquarters of the “elite” 1% driving this genocide. US citizens are not a part of this. US Government is at war against US citizens, right now, and currently winning.

    • The City of London indeed. They are the architects of every misery around the world. Even Iranians knew this back during the big wars, way before Operation Ajax which was only funded by the US, but fully planned by the bankers of London.
      Read the real holocaust “Persian famine of 1917–1919” and see how the Brits killed millions.