BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:00 P.M.) – The US military is preparing materials to build two new bases in the oil-rich province of Deir Al-Zour in eastern Syria, local sources said on Tuesday.

“The US military is preparing to build bases in the Soor area. There are a large amount of construction equipment in these lands, and 250-300 additional military personnel have been deployed in this area, as well as armored personnel carriers, heavy weapons and ammunition,” the Sputnik News Agency reported, citing local sources.

Despite the announcement from US President Donald Trump about the withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria, he stressed that some of them will remain in Syria in order to “protect” the oil fields. US forces control the most important oil and gas fields in eastern Syria, and the US Department of Defense confirmed earlier that it planned to strengthen its military presence in northeastern Syria in order to prevent terrorists from gaining access to the oil fields, pointing out that Washington is studying how to transfer troops in this region to strengthen oil protection.

There are several large oil fieldsin the province of Deir Al-Zour, including Al-Umar, Conoco, and Rmeilan. These sites are the largest oil fields in Syria.

Syria’s oil production, according to statistics of the Syrian government before the outbreak of the crisis, was approximately 30 thousand barrels per day.

The Russian envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentev, said earlier that the oil production areas in eastern Syria should be controlled by the Syrian government. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said earlier that US government agencies receive more than $30 million a month in oil production in Syria.

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