US Rough Role in Syria
Editor’s Note: The author is Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, CPEC & BRI. The article only represents the views of the author, and not necessarily of Gwadar Pro.
International organizations showed serious concerns over “illegal” role and “hegemonic” designs of the US in Syria, which has already “destabilized” the Middle East and the MENA region. It intentionally built many military bases to form anti-Iran bloc and support regional terrorist groups for systematic looting of the oil, gas and mineral wealth in these areas. Syria is the newest entry in this regard.
The US troops and their armed allies/groups have been notorious for illegal mining of precious metals, exporting oil & gas from different parts of Syria to Iraq, seriously indulged in war crimes and violated numerous protocols of international laws and diplomatic engagements.
The Syrian Ministry of foreign affairs sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations and the rotating president of the Security Council, stating that from 2011 to June 2022, the US troops in the country supported many militia groups to conduct illegal mining and smuggling activities, causing a huge loss amounting to US$107.1 billion.
The US troops’ intentionally “plundering” of Syrian oil & gas resources has resulted in economic “meltdown” and a drastic decrease in Syrian revenues.
It seems that looting Syrian oil tanks has become a “favorite hobby” and “profitable proposition” for the US troops in Syria. Most recently, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), it robbed more than 89 oil tankers from Syria and smuggled them into Iraq through illegal crossings.
The SANA claimed that a convoy of 89 oil tanks departed from Al-Yaarubiyah, Al-Hasakah Governorate, using the illegal border crossing——Al-Mahmudiyah in northeastern Syria to get to Iraq.
Moreover, the Syrian state media has blamed the US and “SDF armed groups” for looting its oil & gas resources by illegally occupying areas in the neighborhood of oil-rich fields and succeeded in smuggling resources to Iraq and then siphoning them out of there.
The United States has been purposefully supporting SDF militias against the Syrian government and the US backed forces are currently occupying parts of the provinces of Al-Haskah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa, where the largest Syrian oil and gas fields are located. In late July, a convoy of more than 35 oil tankers was looted by the US armed forces and smuggled through the unauthorized Al-Mahmudiyah crossing, which was allocated by the U.S. occupation forces more than two years ago to steal Syrian oil.
Many regional media outlets have also reported that more than 85 trucks loaded with ammunition, war equipment and logistical material entered Syrian territory through the illegal al-Walid crossing from northern Iraq. The US illegal activities are promptly generating colossal war crimes in Syria.
The US has at least a “dozen bases” in Syria, mostly in the oil and gas fields in the northeastern region of Al Jazeera, mainly in Al-Hasakeh, while it maintains one base in the al-Tanef area, bordering Iraq, to prevent any land communication between these two countries.
The government of Syria has repeatedly denounced the illegal presence of US troops and termed it as an illegal occupation, fearing that the US sponsorship of various terrorist groups would further accelerate terrorist activities in the country.
Critical analysis reveals that the same US “replica” of geopolitical maneuverings, economic marginalization, social discrimination and military genocide in Iraq is now being carried out in Syria.
US war theater and constant looting of Syria oil & gas and mineral resources have caused a humanitarian crisis in the country, due to which it is in dire need of massive humanitarian assistance.
Syria is urgently in need of food items, not the US fatal military attacks. It badly needs reconstruction, not the US prolonged conspiracies and conflicts. In this regard, the inclusion of Syria in China’s BRI vividly reflects the role of China in the global arena.
The ongoing Syrian conflict has entered into 11 years, during which more than 350,000 people have been killed, nearly 14 million have been displaced and basic services are destroyed. According to many official data, more than 14.6 million people urgently require humanitarian aid. Moreover, 12 million people are food insecure. Ninety per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Furthermore, Syrian infrastructure is crumbling, destroyed by years of conflict. Economic activity was completely destroyed during a decade of conflict, regional financial crises, sanctions, and the COVID-19 pandemic. A political solution to achieve Syrian owned, led and ruled country is need of the hour.