The United States has reportedly started building a new military base in Syria’s oil-rich eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr as Washington moves to tighten its grip on the country’s energy resources.
The Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency, citing local sources, reported the military base was being built in Syria’s vast Badia desert, and that construction equipment had been put into action there a few days ago.
The sources added that workers had begun building an airstrip at the location in order to secure the arrival of logistical supplies for the base.
They noted that the US army had also deployed groups of allied militants with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a number of points around the base in order to protect the site.
The new base will apparently be the US military’s fourth in Dayr al-Zawr.
American troops are specifically stationed near oil and gas fields in the area, namely al-Omar oilfield — Syria’s largest — on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, the Conoco gas field and plant as well as the al-Jazrat area in the western countryside of Dayr al-Zawr.
US President Donald Trump has openly said on several occasions that the American military presence in Syria was “only for the oil,” contradicting his own officials who have said the remaining forces were there to “fight terrorism.”
The practice of seizing or taking advantage of oil resources in a foreign country, without the consent of the sovereign authority, amounts to a violation of international law.