US military smuggles tonnes of Syrian wheat to neighboring Iraq: Report

DAMASCUS (Sputnik): This is the latest instance of what Syrian media say is an ongoing operation to move oil and grain out of the country, which has been devastated by a decade-long humanitarian crisis. SANA says trucks have been crossing into northern Iraq almost daily.

Twelve US trucks laden with tonnes of wheat from silos in northern Syria were seen going to neighboring Iraq through an illegal border crossing, Syrian state news agency SANA said Thursday.

SANA cited local sources who said that wheat had been stolen from the silos in Tal Alou in Al-Hasakah governorate.

On Friday, 18 US military vehicles loaded with wheat were reportedly witnessed driving through the Semalka border crossing towards Iraq. In addition to crops, Syrian officials say the US has long been plungering Syrian oil, which is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the continued military presence in the Arab Republic.

Russia said on Monday that it continues to receive daily reports about US convoys transferring oil and grain from Syria to Iraq, pointing out that 300 oil trucks crossed the Syria-Iraq border on March 23 alone as ascertained from the information in the received reports.

On March 26, local sources in Syria’s northeastern town of al-Malikiyah reported that 18 US military vehicles, loaded with wheat crops, had rumbled through the Semalka border crossing, and headed toward Iraqi territory.

After former US President Donald Trump announced in autumn 2018 about his plans to withdraw troops from Syria, as part of his 2016 election promises to cease the “endless wars”, the ex-commander-in-chief soon changed his mind, saying that a residual force of US troops will remain in northeast Syria to “secure the oil”.

The new US president Joe Biden has not reversed the policies of the former administration. In late February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow has received information suggesting the United States plans to stay in Syria indefinitely, “even to the point of destroying this country.”

US forces have been stationed in Syria’s rich-oil northeast since 2017, despite the fact that thy were never ever invited to the Arab Republic, nor was their deployment authorized by the UN Security Council. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly stated that the American presence in the country is illegal and in violation of Syria’s sovereigny.