The U.S.-led coalition hit the Bashar Assad regime's tankers carrying out oil trade with the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is supported by Washington under the pretext of fighting against Daesh. According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency (AA) from local sources in Deir el-Zour province, located near the Iraqi border, U.S. forces targeted the regime's oil-laden tankers, which were transporting their cargo on the Euphrates River, with heavy machine guns. Later, coalition forces seized the tankers. The incident came after protests by civilians against the YPG's alleged oil smuggling in Deir el-Zour.
About 70 percent of Syria's oil resources lie within the territories currently occupied by the U.S.-backed YPG. The terrorist organization holds the eastern part of Deir el-Zour province, one of Syria's largest energy sources. There are 11 large oilfields on the eastern side of the Euphrates, which cuts the province in to two. These oilfields make up around one-third of the energy sources in Syria.
Last month, a gasoline crisis erupted in areas held by the Assad regime in Syria due to soaring inflation emanating from the occupation of the country's oil reserves and refineries by the YPG. In the provinces of Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia and Tartus, there are long lines of cars waiting in front of gas stations.
The YPG has been carrying out negotiations with the Assad regime since 2017 about the occupied oil fields. In July 2017, the YPG handed over control of oil production in the Rimelan region to the regime after they signed a revenue-sharing agreement between both sides. Also, in February, the YPG agreed on a deal with the regime to transfer oil extracted from occupied areas to the regime-dominated areas in Deir el-Zour. According to the agreement, regime-affiliated companies, operating west of Deir el-Zour, were expected to lay pipes under the Euphrates to transport oil to the war-torn country's eastern provinces. The agreement aimed for a rapid transfer of oil, which was previously carried by boats.