LOCAL residents of several villages in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah have in coordination with government forces prevented a number of US military convoys from passing through their communities.
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that a US convoy of five armoured vehicles, escorted by a vehicle belonging to US-backed Kurdish militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was forced on Thursday afternoon to turn around.
It had to head back in the direction it came from after locals of the villages of al-Damkhiya and Abu Dhuwail blocked the road, and prevented its movement.
The report added that the villagers threw stones at the American convoy and chanted slogans in condemnation of US occupation forces and the SDF militants. No injuries were reported.
Separately, a US military convoy was forced to retreat after Syrian government forces and angry residents of Hamou village blocked its way.
Locals in the village of al-Qusayr also blocked a US military convoy of several armoured vehicles on Thursday evening, and forced it to turn around and head towards the neighbouring al-Qahtaniyah town.
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.
Damascus, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.
Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in Syria for its oil.
After failing to oust the Syrian government with the help of its proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has now stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.
Syrians have staged a demonstration to express their strong indignation over the massacre of innocent civilians by US occupation forces under false excuses of counter-terrorism and fighting Daesh terrorist group in the country.
‘The US excuse for the frequent civilian deaths is for counter-terrorism purposes. But the truth is that the US is occupying our land in the disguise of fighting terrorism, which only brings more destruction and civilian deaths.
‘The US acts in fact are downright invasion and occupation,’ Hiba Mihrez, a female protester, said.
The protesters said, in addition to killing innocent civilians, the United States plunders Syria’s rich resources in the northeastern province of Hasakah, seeking to seize everything from wheat to oil and gas.
‘The regions occupied by the United States are rich in resources and economically developed.
‘By occupying these areas, the US intends to control the economic lifeline of Syria, seriously affecting the Syrian national economy and plunging people here into dire straits, and in doing so, puts pressure on the Syrian government,’ Suha Gusaini, another demonstrator, said.
Last Monday, three members of the same family were killed by American military fire in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor, with local sources saying the US forces kidnapped residents and took them to an unknown location.
SANA said the victims lost their lives during a large-scale airdrop operation conducted by the American troops in the town al-Busayrah and its surrounding areas. The airstrike was accompanied by intense and indiscriminate shooting.
Turkish forces and allied Takfiri militants have reportedly shelled residential areas in the countryside of Syria’s Hasakah province.
SANA reported that the shelling took place in al-Dardara village, which lies north of Tal Tamr town, causing damage to several houses and public properties in the area.
In recent months, Turkish-backed militants, who have maintained heavy presence in vicinity of the border areas with Turkey, have launched frequent attacks on Syrian infrastructure, residential areas and agricultural land.
Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country’s territorial integrity.
Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organisation tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
Turkey has played a major role in supporting militants in Syria ever since a major foreign-backed militancy overtook the country more than ten years ago.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said the Damascus government will respond through all legitimate means available to the ongoing ground offensive by Turkish forces and allied militants in the northern part of the war-battered Arab country.
- More than 50 high-ranking Saudi-backed militant commanders loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi have reportedly been killed while fighting Yemeni army troops and their allies over the control of the country’s strategic oil-producing province of Ma’rib.
Yemen’s al-Khabar al-Yemeni news website, citing informed sources who preferred not to be named, reported that Ma’rib province has witnessed intense clashes between Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from the Popular Committees on one side and Saudi-backed militants on the other over the past few weeks.
The report added that the Yemeni forces and their allies are slowly but steadily making progress, due to the geographical features of the region and heavy deployment of troops and military equipment by the Saudi-led coalition.
The sources highlighted that Ma’rib, al-Thaqba and al-Aswadah districts are now the scenes of pro-Hadi commanders getting killed one after another, and now fear and anxiety have increased among Saudi mercenaries as the Yemeni armed forces have launched fierce battles against them.
Al-Khabar al-Yemeni went on to say that intelligence forces of the Sana’a government have managed to infiltrate into the military and security circles of Saudi-backed Hadi loyalists, monitor all movements of commanders and obtain sensitive information out of their meetings.
According to sources affiliated with the Saudi-led coalition, at least 53 pro-Hadi commanders have been killed in Ma’rib province in recent months.
On December 13, Major General Nasser al-Zubiani, who headed military operations for pro-Hadi forces, died while leading battles against Yemeni soldiers and fighters from the Popular Committees in the Balaq mountain range, south of Ma’rib city.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.
Despite the heavily-armed Saudi Arabian incessant bombardment of the impoverished country, the Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
- The US Navy has conducted test-firing of a high-energy laser weapon to destroy a floating target in the Gulf of Aden, a strategic war-wracked waterway off the coast of Yemen.
The navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain, said on Wednesday that the USS Portland fired a prototype Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD) to ‘successfully destroy a floating training target’.
The USS Portland used the Laser Weapon System Demonstrator in the waterway that separates the Arabian peninsula from Africa.
The weapon, the Solid State Laser-Technology Maturation Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD), is the next-generation version of the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that was previously tested by the USS Ponce in the Middle East, according to the US Navy.
Running at 150 kilowatts, the LWSD is the navy’s strongest laser, some five times more powerful than the 30-kilowatt LaWS, which is capable of downing small aircraft.
The test-firing was not its first trial run as the Laser Weapon System Demonstrator used last year to bring down a drone over the Pacific Ocean.
The Gulf of Aden’s waters wash up on the southern shores of Yemen, where Saudi Arabia, backed by its regional allies and the United States, has been waging a devastating war since 2015.
The US Fifth Fleet mentioned the significance of testing the LWSD in the Gulf of Aden, saying last Wednesday that ‘the region’s geography, climate, and strategic importance offer a unique environment for technology innovation’.
The US military’s testing of new weapons and remote monitoring systems in the Middle East comes amid Iran’s rapid development of drone and defensive missile technology.
Tehran’s advances mean the US military no longer has complete air superiority in the region, the head of US Central Command told Congress earlier this year.
Russia will also add high-powered lasers to its arsenal, President Vladimir Putin said in April.
In an interview last month, Putin said the Russian Navy would soon be outfitted with ‘new hypersonic weapons systems, high-powered lasers, and robotic systems that will be able to effectively counter potential military threats’.