U.S. forces reportedly struck a deal with ISIS who surrendered 50 tons of stolen gold in exchange for safe passage from East Syria’s Deir el-Zour province.
The gold, worth about $2.13 billion, was plundered by ISIS as its reign of terror spread across Syria and Iraq between 2015 and 2017.
According to Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, local sources claim that U.S. Army helicopters have already transferred the gold from the U.S. forces’ base in Kobani.
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Press TV reports: The helicopters, according to eyewitnesses, transported large boxloads of Daesh “spoils” from the al-Dashisha area in the countryside of Hasaka in northeastern Syria.
American forces have already appropriated and shipped out huge quantities of gold they had seized in Daesh’s strongholds, bringing the total amount of gold acquired and transferred to the US to around 50 tons, SANA said.
The report added that the terror outfit’s last hideouts in Dayr al-Zawr also contain millions of dollars in funds plundered by the group from across Syria and neighboring Iraq.
The latest report comes around a week after the US-led coalition transferred Daesh terrorists and their family members in 50 trucks out of Baghouz village, where the remaining Daesh elements are holed up, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The terror outfit launched a campaign of bloodshed and destruction in Syria and Iraq in 2014. Later that year, the US led scores of its allies in an invasion of the two countries under the pretext of dislodging the terrorists.
Damascus objects to Washington’s military presence on its soil and has repeatedly brought its stated goal into question.
Daesh has lost all the swathes of land it had captured from the Syrian government thanks to successful army operations, which have the backing of Iran and Russia.
‘US protecting Daesh ringleader’
An Iraqi lawmaker, meanwhile, has said that Daesh’s ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is being protected by US forces in a western desert area located in the Iraqi Province of al-Anbar.
Hassan Salem from the Parliament’s Al-Sadiqoun Bloc, which is associated with the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) paramilitary group, made the remarks to Lebanon’s Elnashra news website.
American forces based at Ayn al-Asad Airbase in the province, which is being used by the US military, provide all the means required for al-Baghdadi’s movement between Iraq and Syria, he added.
“He is traveling between Iraq and Syria under US forces’ protection,” Salem said.
Washington, he added, was supporting al-Baghdadi’s movement around, out of concern about a draft legislature prepared at the parliament, which obliges American forces to leave the Iraqi soil.