The Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported that residents of Diban town hoisted the flag over school buildings in the area close to the US-controlled al-Omar oil field on Tuesday to show their strong support for the Damascus government and reject the presence of American occupation forces and Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) there.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that US troops immediately ordered their allied SDF militants to lower the flags, and round up all those behind the move.
The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.
Back on December 2 last year, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson lambasted the US military’s deployment of troops in Syria and its smuggling of oil and grain as illegal.
“The US stationing of troops in Syria is illegal. The US smuggling of oil and grain from Syria is illegal. The US missile attack against Syria is also illegal,” Zhao Lijian told a daily news briefing in the capital Beijing.
The Chinese diplomat cited official data from the Syrian government that between 2011 and the first half of 2022, the US smuggling activities have cost Syria more than 100 billion dollars of losses.