Even as the coronavirus has affected most of the world, including some countries’ militaries, US servicemen in the Middle East are apparently carrying on with their regular operations.
Syria TV broadcaster reported, citing local sources, that a group of at least 35 US military vehicles travelled from Syria’s north-eastern Al Hasakah province to the south – purportedly to the city of Al Shaddadah.
It added that the US forces would be finalizing the construction of a military base there.
Earlier, on 6 April, a similar column of 35 trucks carrying military equipment was reportedly spotted crossing into Al Hasakah province from Iraq, where the US has been gradually reducing its military presence after a major falling out with the government in Baghdad.
While the purpose of the trucks’ redeployment to Al Shaddadah has not been officially revealed, Syrian media outlets insist that the American forces are interested in controlling the local oil fields. Their suggestion goes in line with accusations made by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who stated back in 2019 that the US had been stealing Syrian oil and selling it to Turkey.
Washington, in turn, never denied its interest in the Syrian oilfields, with President Trump called the move “keeping the oil”. The US never denied involvement in the sale of Syrian oil either, although did not confirm it directly.