Syria demands US pay for ‘stolen’ oil
Syria urged the UN to take action against the US over its occupation of parts of Syrian territory, as well as the illegal extraction of natural resources in those areas, state-run SANA media outlet reports.
Damascus also demanded compensation from Washington for what it described as the “plunder” of the nation’s gas and oil.
In an article on Sunday, SANA cited a letter sent by Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as Albania, which holds the UN Security Council presidency in September. In it, Syrian diplomats called on the international body to put an end to violations of international law and the UN Charter by the US, which is illegally stationing troops in the northeast and southeast of the country.
The ministry claimed that apart from this, Washington and allied militant groups are also guilty of plundering the country’s “wealth and strategic resources.”
According to the estimates cited in the letter, the direct and indirect damage caused to Syria’s oil and mineral wealth sector by the US military from 2011 to 2023 amounts to $115.2 billion.
The letter concluded by demanding that “American officials be held accountable for these thefts and that the American administration be forced to compensate for them.” It also called for the withdrawal of all American military personnel from Syria and the return of all its oil and gas fields to government control.
Late last month, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, predicted that the US military presence in the country would continue in the foreseeable future. Speaking to Jordan’s Al-Mamlaka TV, he noted that Washington will not “ever walk away from the Middle East” as a whole. Milley cited the danger posed by the remnants of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in the region. He also acknowledged that oil is one of the key reasons the US will not withdraw from the region.
Syria descended into conflict in 2011 when opposition groups rose up against the government of President Bashar Assad. In 2015, Assad invited the Russian military to assist his forces in the fight against IS. Washington had launched its own military campaign one year earlier, but not at the invitation of Damascus.