Washington Must Stop “Stealing” Syrian Oil, Putin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of stealing Syrian oil despite having imposed sanctions on Damascus, extending the rift between Moscow and Washington.

Speaking at a meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts on Tuesday, Putin demanded that the US army must immediately vacate the east Euphrates territories and stop looting the Syrian state and Syrian people by illegally exporting oil from the region.

He also blamed the US for exacerbating the Syrian humanitarian crisis with the unilateral penalties it has imposed on the war-torn West Asian country, emphasizing that such sanctions have had disastrous results and warning against politicizing the humanitarian aid to Syria.

Putin stressed that this was a common position of Russia, Iran, and Turkey, the three guarantors of the so-called Astana Agreement – the peace negotiations to end the conflict in Syria launched in December 2016 – the last meeting of which took place on June 15 and 16, 2022.

Adding that the three countries are ready to take measures and to promote dialogue within the country, Putin also stressed that Syrians themselves must be the ones to define the future of Syria, calling out the US over its illegal presence there.

To note, nearly 900 US military soldiers remain in northeast Syria in order to allegedly help Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) mitigate local counter-terrorism fighting IS but are mainly controlling the oil wells and wheatfields in Syria’s northeast.

Backed by the US, SDF has refused to reintegrate with the Damascus government of President Bashar Assad, which Washington wishes to see overthrown and has been using the so-called Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to punish anyone trying to assist the reconstruction of war-torn Syria.

Meanwhile, the White House’s chief National Security Council spokesman John Kirby pointed out that Putin’s trip to Iran this week showed how isolated Russia has become in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

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