As part of Washington’s stiff competition with some of its regional allies to maintain control over oil reserves in Syria and plunder natural resources in the country, the US military has reportedly sent a new convoy of trucks carrying military and logistical equipment to the northeastern province of Hasakah.
Local sources in the town of Yaarubiyah, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that a convoy of about 50 vehicles, including trucks and oil tankers, crossed the al-Walid border crossing into Syrian territories on Sunday.
Since late October 2019, the United States has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops there.
The Pentagon alleges that the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by Daesh, ignoring the fact that Trump had earlier suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oil fields
Syria, which has not authorized the presence of the US military in its territory, says Washington is “plundering” the country’s oil.
The presence of US forces in eastern Syria has particularly irked the civilians, and local residents have on several occasions stopped American military convoys entering the region.
Turkish-backed militants, Kurdish forces clash in Aleppo
Elsewhere in Syria’s northwestern province of Aleppo, bitter clashes broke out been Turkish-backed Takfiri militants and Kurdish forces.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the fierce exchange of gunfire took place in Mare’ town on Sunday and was accompanied by heavy shelling.
The Britain-based war monitor noted that the clashes and ensuing shelling left casualties on both sides.
A few hours earlier, Turkish military forces had launched a barrage of mortar shells at the Kurdish-controlled village of Harbel.
Several unknown reconnaissance drones flew over the area during the incident.
Turkish-backed militants were deployed to northern Syria last October after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants away from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
More than 200,000 people have been internally displaced by the Turkish-led offensive, according to the United Nations.
On October 22, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted the YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.