SYRIAN VILLAGERS DRIVE OUT US MILITARY VEHICLES – as US planes drop ‘thermal balloons’ to set grain fields ablaze

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Barley crop ablaze in Sweida province – US forces are using Apache helicopters to drop ‘thermal balloons’ to set the crops alight

SYRIANS in the villages of al-Qahira and al-Dushaisha – in Tal Tamir in Hasaka northern countryside – have intercepted US occupation force vehicles and driven them back to another of their illegitimate bases in the region.

(Syrian Arab News Agency) SANA’s reporter in Hasaka said that a number of US- occupation armoured vehicles had tried to cross the road that passes through the lands of the villages of al-Qahira and al-Dushaisha, in the Tal Tamir.

But locals intercepted them, threw stones, chanted slogans against the occupation and forced them to return back where they came from.

In fact, on May 12 the, a Syrian Arab Army checkpoint intercepted a convoy of US military occupation forces’ vehicles – preventing them from passing towards the village of Umm al-Khair in the countryside of Tal Tamir to the northwest of Hasaka – and forced them back too.

On dozens of occasions locals in Hasaka countryside, supported by Syrian Arab Army checkpoints, have intercepted convoys of US occupation vehicles – and prevented them too from advancing – amid an increased state of anger and categorical rejection of the presence of the occupation forces on Syrian territories.

Meanwhile the Western military coalition, purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, has according to reports deployed three Patriot missile batteries at a US base in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

The Arabic-language al-Alam television news network, citing local sources, reported on Wednesday that the batteries were deployed to the base set up at the Koniko gas field – which is located about 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) east of the provincial capital city of Dayr al-Zawr – during the past few days.

Koniko is one of the largest gas plants in Syria. The sources added that the US-led coalition forces are working to install similar batteries in several other locations in the province.

Separately, three US soldiers were wounded when their convoy was attacked by unknown militants in the same province.

Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported that American troops, accompanied by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were travelling along a road on the outskirts of Ruwaished village when a group of assailants armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers ambushed them.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said five SDF militants were also wounded in the attack.

SANA added that the injured US troops and Kurdish militants were taken to a US base in the town of Shaddadi, which lies in the southern environs of Syria’s northeastern province of Hasaka.

Since late October 2019, the United States has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims that move aims ‘to protect’ the fields and facilities from Daesh attacks. That claim came although Trump had suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oil fields – and Syria, which hasn’t authorised the presence of US military in its territory, says Washington is ‘plundering’ the country’s oil.

In fact the presence of US forces in eastern Syria has particularly irked the civilians, and local residents have on several occasions stopped American military convoys entering the region.

Burning agricultural crops in the Syrian al-Jazeera region, especially wheat, to empty the Syrian basket of its bounties is another goal that unites the American and Turkish occupation forces in an aggressive behaviour and a violation of international laws that amounts to a war crime – added to other crimes committed by those occupying forces against the Syrians and their state, Syrian state media SANA reported.

SANA stated: ‘Previously prepared crimes committed by the Turkish occupation forces and its mercenaries of terrorist groups are in line with the attacks of the US occupation forces and armed groups subordinate to their orders.

‘Starting from shelling cities and regions, destroying their infrastructure and displacing citizens from their homes – through a policy of killing, looting, kidnapping, and armed robbery against the people and their properties – they don’t end with burning tens of thousands of hectares planted with wheat and barley in the areas where they established their illegitimate bases and occupation points, and in the safe areas adjacent to them on Syrian lands.

‘Deliberately setting fire to the strategic wheat crop through which the Syrians have achieved over dozens of years of self-sufficiency (and which) has constituted a major pillar of food security in the country, nowadays . . .  has become a clear target in the context of an economic war and unjust starvation policy practised by the US and the new Ottoman Turkish regime against the Syrian people and their state.

‘This is after their failure … in their aggressive war, and their attempt to subjugate the Syrians who reject the occupation forces and their allies.

‘The American and Turkish aggression takes many forms, and it is practised in various ways with the diversity of its tools and the multiplicity of its chapters, and … translated also in the continued burning of agricultural crops by the occupation forces in a way that doesn’t only affect the Syrian economy, but the direct goal of (which) is to impoverish the owners of the lands from the local population and force them under pressure of need and poverty to work with the US and Turkish occupation forces and to force them to agree to send their children to fight in the ranks of terrorist groups.

‘This is especially in light of the growing public rejection of the presence of the occupation forces and its mercenaries in the region, as over the past few months, the locals have attacked dozens of vehicles and armoured vehicles of the US occupation forces and intercepted them and forced them to return back to their illegal bases.

‘The American and Turkish occupation forces have established illegitimate bases and military points in several areas in the Syrian al-Jazeera region, as they supply them with weapons and logistical equipment through illegal crossings with Iraq to enhance their presence in order to steal the Syrians’ oil and major agricultural crops in co-operation with terrorist organisations.

‘The crime of burning wheat crop in Syria comes in the context of the American and Western terrorist and economic war against the Syrian people, and it is an American plan prepared in advance in implementation of direct orders from US President Donald Trump – according to an international media report published by the “International Business Times” news website in its version issued in Singapore a few days ago.

‘This indicated that: “The US occupation forces were carrying out orders approved by the White House and that Trump signed orders to burn agricultural lands in Syria.” And the fires which have erupted in the fields in southern Syria may be part of that plan as observers say.

‘Earlier, local and media sources have confirmed that the “Apache” aircraft of the American occupation forces began deliberately since the approach of the harvest season of wheat and barley crops to throw thermal balloons while flying at a low distance over the agricultural fields, causing a number of fires in the wheat and barley fields in a number of villages in the city of al-Shadadi, south of Hasaka City.

‘The sources added that groups of mercenaries from the Turkish occupation set fire to a number of wheat and barley fields in a number of villages in the cities of Tal Tamir and Abu Rasen in the countryside of Hasaka, and the fire destroyed about 20 thousand dunums of these fields, in addition to targeting these fields by the mercenaries with mortar shells similar to what they have done in the villages of Umm al-Kef, al-Dardara and al-Tawila in Tal Tamir countryside.l.

‘In parallel with setting fires deliberately, the Turkish occupation forces and its mercenaries intend to steal crops by exerting pressure on the people to sell them at the cheapest prices and smuggling them into Turkish territories . . .

‘Yesterday they brought a number of harvesters to the occupied area of Ras al-Ayn, in Hasaka northern countryside, to steal agricultural crops and smuggle them to the Turkish territories.

In addition they seized a part of the production after threatening the farmers to burn their wheat and barley fields if they don’t comply with the pressures imposed on them.

‘The vandalism and destruction agendas prepared by the US administration integrate with the aggressive behaviour of its regional client in the region, namely Erdogan and his terrorist mercenaries.

In light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, they make US-Turkish practices rise to the level of war crimes as they expose hundreds of thousands of people to the risk of falling into poverty and famine and they undermine the measures taken by the Syrian state to alleviate the burdens of the aggressive war and the unjust embargo imposed on Syria by the West, led by the United States.’