U.S. Forces Smuggled 95 Tankers’ Worth of Oil From Syria Over Weekend: Damascus Demands Compensation


Sept 18, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


The United States Military reported moved 95 tankers’ worth of Syrian crude oil out of the country for sale abroad from September 9-10, with two separate convoys of 40 and 55 tankers transported through Iraq from the Al Jazeera Oil Fields using the Mahmoudiya border crossing.

The Syrian oil fields are currently under the control of the U.S. Military, which has sold oil extracted there to finance its continued military occupation of northeastern Syria and deny Damascus much needed energy and oil revenues for post war recovery. 

Establishment of the occupation came after the United States and its allies in Europe and Turkey faced increasingly narrow prospects of overthrowing the Syrian government, which they had sought to do through massive support for an insurgency from 2011. 

Appropriation of Syrian oil is widely considered illegal, and has been condemned by international legal experts with plunder which is a serious war crime. 

Officials from Syria, Iraq, and multiple other states including China and Iran have strongly condemned the ongoing appropriations. 

Multiple sources, including parliamentarian A’ed al-Helali who raised the issue in the Iraqi parliament earlier in September, have claimed that revenues from the oil appropriations are being used to fund not only American occupation of Syrian territory, but also insurgent groups who are being trained to fight against the government.


The U.S. Military deploys approximately 900 personnel in Syria, with its contingent reinforced in 2018-2020 with heavy weapons including HIMARS rocket artillery systems, M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. 

Further reinforcements have been deployed since then, although accidents most notably a helicopter crash in June have at times caused significant casualties. 

On September 10 a letter from by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates was published by state media, and was addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and to the UN Security Council presidency calling for efforts to uphold international law and prevent the continued occupation and plunder of Syrian resources by American forces.

 It estimated that the direct and indirect damage to Syria’s oil and mineral wealth sector by the U.S. Military from 2011 to 2023 amounted to $115.2 billion, demanding that “American officials be held accountable for these thefts and that the American administration be forced to compensate for them.”


The Pentagon has indicated that it intends to maintain the occupation of northeastern Syria indefinitely, although without authorisation either from Damascus or from the United Nations Security Council this will remain illegal. 

In parallel to the American occupation, the Turkish Military has imposed a similar occupation over significant parts of northwestern Syria and has armed, financed and directly militarily supported Al Qaeda linked jihadist groups on the territory. 

These groups have shipped Syrian oil into Turkey. Syrian efforts to challenge the occupations imposed by either of the two NATO members have been consistently met with forceful responses and major air strikes on Syrian territory.

Military Watch Magazine