Damascus: US Occupation Cost Syria $107.1bn in Oil, Gas Sector Losses
By Staff, Agencies
Damascus says the years-long occupation of Syria by the United States has cost the war-ravaged Arab country $107.1 billion in oil and gas sector losses.
In two identical letters sent to the secretary-general of the United Nations and the president of the UN Security Council, Syria’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that direct and indirect losses caused by the US occupation of the Arab country are estimated at 107.1 billion dollars till the end of the first half of the current year.
“According to the figures of the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources and its accurate statistics, the direct losses suffered by this key vital sector amounted to 24.2 billion dollars as a result of the thefts of oil, gas and mineral resources that have been committed by the terrorist groups and the separatist SDF militia that is spreading in northeastern Syria under the auspices, protection and support of the American forces present in Syria illegally,” said Syria’s foreign ministry, Syria's official news agency [SANA] reported.
The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terrorist group without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. Damascus has repeatedly condemned the unauthorized presence of the US troops in the Arab country.
The US-led military interference, however, was surprisingly slow in confronting the terrorists, despite the sheer size of the coalition that had enlisted scores of Washington’s allied countries.
Furthermore, Washington backs the Kurdish People's Protection Units [YPG] militant group, which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] militant, a coalition of militant factions which also receives support from the US and has occupied large parts of northeastern Syria.
The ministry said “the estimated value of these losses resulting from extraction, smuggling and illegal trade in Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources amounted to $18.2 billion until the end of the first half of this year, and the SDF militia continues to steal and smuggle Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources and illegal trade. The project is under the cover and protection of the American forces present in Syria illegally.”
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and 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. However, numerous confirmed reports indicate that the US forces and their allied SDF militants smuggle large quantities of Syria’s crude oil almost on a daily basis.
“These losses are also caused by the sabotage and theft of extracting and transporting Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources facilities by terrorist groups, the estimated value of losses resulting from these crimes amounted to 3.2 billion dollars. In addition to the illegal bombing and aggression perpetrated by the so-called “international coalition” on Syrian oil and gas facilities, the estimated value of the losses resulting from these acts of aggression amounted to 2.8 billion dollars,” the statement added.
“As for the estimated value of the indirect losses until the middle of this year, it amounted to $82.9 billion, which represents the values of lost production of Syria’s crude oil, natural gas, gas for house use, various oil derivatives and mineral wealth, due to the decline in production down from the expected and planned rates within the framework of normal working conditions as a result of the crimes of sabotage, destruction, theft and illicit trafficking committed by terrorist groups and separatist militias that spread in the areas of oil and gas fields and mineral resources under the protection, sponsorship and cover of the US forces illegally present in Syria,” said the foreign ministry.
Damascus considers the US presence to be an outright violation of its sovereignty. It says it reserves the right to respond to the occupation as it sees fit.