Democrats in the US House of Representatives have proposed a ban on spending the 2021 defence budget on the establishment by the US military of control over oil facilities in Syria and Iraq, according to the Fiscal Year 2021 Defence Funding Bill.

"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act shall be obligated or expended by the United States Government for a purpose as follows ... to exercise United States control over any oil resource of Iraq or Syria," the document released on Tuesday read.

In addition, the federal funds are prohibited from being used for the construction of facilities for the permanent deployment of US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Democrats in the House of Representatives and Republicans in the Senate are expected to propose two versions of the budget for the fiscal year 2021, which will then be brought together by a coordinating commission. The agreed document will subsequently be signed by the president.

In early October 2019, the United States announced the withdrawal of its forces from northeastern Syria, immediately after which Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring against the Kurdish militia and Daesh in the area.

However, the United States later announced its intent to stay in the area and ensure that its allies, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, retained control over oil-rich land. 

US President Donald Trump then said that he was planning to invite large US oil companies to the area to explore its oil fields and, which could "do it properly."

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu previously said that the United States was openly and unceremoniously robbing oil fields in Syria and, at the same time, banning the supply of oil to this country with sanctions.

US Smuggles 27 Truckloads of Military Equipment, Supplies Into Syria Through Iraq: Report 

The US beefed up its presence in oil and gas-rich northeastern Syria in October 2019, after Turkey launched an abortive invasion of the Arab Republic’s Kurdish-controlled northern territories. After that, the US moved troops away from the border toward the region’s oil infrastructure to prevent the Damascus government from restoring control.

The US has delivered another 27 truckloads worth of military equipment via the illegal al-Walid border crossing between Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Arab News Agency has reported, citing local sources in the al-Hasakah countryside.

According to the sources, the delivery took place on Monday evening, with the convoy said to be carrying military vehicles as well as closed refrigerator containers.

The trucks were said to have been headed for a local base the US recently established in the province.

The US continues to maintain hundreds of troops in Syria despite President Trump’s promises to pull out of the country in late 2018. In recent months, the US has brought in thousands of truckloads’ worth of military equipment and supplies northeastern Syria to shore up their presence and cement their control of the region’s oil and natural gas resources to prevent them from falling into the control of Syria’s internationally recognized government.

Russia’s military revealed the extent of the US-led operation’s plundering of Syria’s natural resources in late October 2019 in an intelligence presentation on an enterprise involving the US military, the CIA, and local Kurdish forces to smuggle tens of millions of dollars in crude oil out of the country to sell on the black market.

In addition to plundering the region’s resources, US forces and their Kurdish allies have been accused of mistreating the local population. On Sunday, local residents in Qamishli, al-Hasakah complained that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia had impeded the delivery of flour to a local bread factory, sparking bread shortages.

Before that, SANA reported that SDF forced had dismantled railway tracks in adjacent Deir ez-Zor province and sold them as scrap metal. 

Along with US and SDF forces, part of northeastern Syria remains occupied by pro-Turkish militants. In recent months, Damascus has accused these groups of deliberately burning wheat crops in Jazeera and al-Hasakah to cause food shortages.

The Damascus government has previously vowed to expel all occupying forces from its territory one way or another, and has accused the US, Turkey, Israel and other nations of violating Syria’s territorial integrity and international law.