On Wednesday, a senior Pentagon official revealed that the United States is planning to send troops and tanks to protect Syria's eastern oil fields. The revelation comes not long after Donald Trump removed U.S. troops from northern Syria, which resulted in a Turkish attack on the U.S.'s Kurdish allies in the region.
Following the revelation of these plans, Russia is accusing the U.S. of "state-sponsored gangsterism," Newsweek reports. According to the state-sponsored TASS news agency, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov claims that the U.S. troop movement is part of a cover to protect U.S. oil smugglers who are avoiding sanctions for petrodollars.
"Tank trucks guarded by U.S. military servicemen and private military companies smuggle oil from fields in eastern Syria to other countries. In the event of any attack on such a convoy, U.S. special operations forces and combat aviation are immediately used to protect it."
"To secure such a continuous financial flow free from control and taxes, the top officials at the Pentagon and Langley will be willing to guard and protect oil wells in Syria from the imaginary 'hidden cells of the Islamic State' indefinitely," he said, later suggesting that the alleged operation is "international state-sponsored gangsterism."