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Syria Accuses US Forces of Smuggling Wheat, Oil to Iraq

Syria Accuses US Forces of Smuggling Wheat, Oil to Iraq

Wednesday, 12 May, 2021 - 08:45
A convoy of US armored vehicles in northeastern Syria (Getty Images)

Syria accused US forces of using a military convoy to smuggle stolen wheat to northern Iraq through the al-Walid border crossing in the Hasakah region.

The Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported that a convoy of 45 vehicles of covered trucks, oil tankers and a number of refrigerators left the Syrian territories towards Iraq on Monday.

The trucks were loaded with wheat from the silos of Tal Alo and left through the al-Walid crossing.

SANA said the American troops brought out a convoy of 27 military vehicles, including Hummer cars and armored vehicles, trucks laden with stolen wheat and oil tankers stolen from the Syrian oil fields.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized oil tankers that were on their way to areas under the regime's control.

Dozens of tankers belonging to the Katerji company were seen heading to regime-held regions and were seized upon their arrival at the Tabqa Bridge checkpoint, west of Raqqa. Some of the drivers were arrested for unknown reasons.

Eye of the Euphrates network reported that 250 tankers were transporting oil from al-Hasakah towards regime-controlled areas. Twelve drivers were held by SDF.

The network added that they will be transferred to the security investigation, without providing additional details.

Authorities recently dismissed Major General Nizar Ahmed al-Khader, the commander of the 17th Division and the head of the Security and Military Committee in Deir Ezzor.

He was referred to investigation over charges of oil smuggling and dealing with the US Army and SDF.

Meanwhile, the SDF, in coordination with the operations room of the US-led international coalition, carried out a military security campaign to track down active ISIS cells in Wadi al-Ajij, in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

A military leader said that the forces destroyed many hideouts, and uncovered roads and tunnels used by militants to smuggle weapons across the Syrian-Iraqi border.

An SDF spokesman, Farhad Shami, announced that the operation targeted a desert area where ISIS movement was detected and that was used to smuggle mercenaries and weapons into Syrian territory.

This is the second security campaign carried out by the SDF, with coalition air support, within a month.

The SDF had launched numerous campaigns to pursue ISIS remnants, however, they have yet to stop terrorist activity in the region.

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