Russian General Staff accuses US mercenaries of looting Syrian oilfields

30.07.2019, Moscow.

US-based private military companies (PMCs) supported by the US-led International Coalition’s air forces are looting Syrian oil facilities, the Director of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel-General Sergey Rudskoy said at a Ministry of Defense briefing on July 29.

According to Rudskoy’s report, “In addition to training the militants, the US-based structures in Syria are looting the oil facilities and oilfields across the river Euphrates, which are owned by the legitimate Syrian government. Recently, the US-based private military companies have been observed to actively build up the numbers of their personnel at these sites. In Syria today, the number of the PMCs’ mercenaries is over 3.5 thousand people.”

The general notes that production and sales of the Syrian oil from the Conaco, al-Omar, and al-Tanak oilfield is taking place according to a predetermined plan. He added that a criminal scheme of oil shipments in the near-border areas is operated for the looting of Syrian national wealth.

According to Rudskoy, the criminal income from the trafficking of hydrocarbons is used, to a large extent, to support the paramilitary organizations, to bribe Arab elders and tribal unions, and to instigate anti-government conflicts within the country.

Rudskoy asserts, “US-based PMCs carry out all these activities with the support of the International Anti-Terrorist Coalition’s air power. Essentially, this is a smuggling business that the US seized from ISIL (organization banned in Russia).”

He also noted that of particular concern are US shipments of military equipment to the area across the Euphrates. In this regard, he said, “In return for help with oil trafficking, the US supplies plenty of weapons to both Kurdish and Arab groups, which then use them against each other, thus exacerbating the situation in this war-ravaged region.”

Based on drone reconnaissance data, the general reported, “In the area of the 55-km zone about al-Tanf, US instructors are training a major armed group, Mahavir as-Saura, and a number of minor militant groups for the so-called ‘Army of Arab Tribes.’ The overall number of militants is 2,700 people.”

He added that some trained militants from al-Tanf are deployed by US helicopters across the Euphrates, while the best-prepared terrorists destabilize the positions of the Syrian government.

A US military base is located on the territory of the city of al-Tanf at the border of Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, and it also controls a 55-km area about the city.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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