Russia releases satellite images confirming US smuggling of Syrian oil

TEHRAN, Oct. 26 (MNA) – The Russian Defense Ministry published satellite intelligence images proving that oil from Syria was sent abroad under the guard of US servicemen before and after the defeat of the ISIL terrorists.

"The space intelligence images showed that oil was actively extracted and massively exported for processing outside Syria, under the reliable protection of US troops, before and after the defeat of the Daesh [ISIL] terrorists," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement on Saturday.

The oil was smuggled in tanker truck convoys, guarded both by US servicemen and the mercenaries of private military contractors (PMCs), the ministry spokesman said.

“Meanwhile, Washington imposed sanctions on shipping hydrocarbons to Syria, which spans not only US companies, but everyone else,” the statement says.

Pentagon chief Mark Esper said on Friday that the United States intends to take measures in the near future to strengthen positions in the Syrian Deir ez-Zor region to prevent terrorists from accessing oil fields. According to him, the United States is studying how to move forces in the region, "to ensure the safety of oil fields."

Konashenkov noted in a statement that the US' claimed goal of protecting Syrian oil fields from ISIL terrorists could not be farther from the truth.

“What Washington does now – the capture and holding under its armed control of oil fields in Eastern Syria is, simply speaking, an international state banditism,” he said, adding that Syrian oil reserves and other mineral resources belong solely to the Syrian Arab Republic, not to ISIL terrorists or to “American protectors from ISIL terrorists”.

“Neither international law, nor the American legislation itself can justify the US troops’ goal to guard Syrian hydrocarbon reserves from Syria itself and its people,” the statement reads.

MNA/SPUTNIK

News Code 151603

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