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Trump Follows Up On His Promise To Protect Syrian Oil

The United States has moved more equipment from Iraq into Syria to boost the protection of the oil and gas fields in eastern Syria currently under the control of Kurdish militia, Turkish media reports.  

A logistics convoy of pick-up trucks, minibusses, ambulances, and 100 rigs filled with fuel oil crossed the Iraqi-Syrian border at Al Waleed on Saturday, according to footage obtained by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

This weekend’s maneuver was the second deployment of the U.S. Army in Syria’s oil provinces this month after the army moved heavy construction equipment and armored vehicles into Syria on December 4 and 5. 

The Kurdish SDF forces control most of Syria’s oil. Before the war, Syria was producing 387,000 barrels of oil per day, of which 140,000 bpd were exported.

In October, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that the U.S. had taken control of the oil in the Middle East, tweeting that “The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey.”

The President did not elaborate on what he meant by “securing the oil,” but speculations about the President’s statement assume he was referring to the U.S. special forces that have been—and will continue to be—in control of oil and gas fields in Deir Ezzor. Related: Are Energy Stocks Hot Again?

President Trump has vowed to protect Syrian oil fields from ISIS, and the United States may leave 500 troops in northeastern Syria and send in battle tanks and other equipment with the purpose to help the Kurds in the area to protect oil fields that used to be controlled by Islamic State during its so-called caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

President Trump has approved a wider mission for the U.S. military to protect oil fields in eastern Syria, the Associated Press reported last month, citing U.S. officials. The expanded mission to secure Syria’s oil posed questions as to whether the U.S. military had the legal right to defend against attacks from Syrian, Russian, or other forces should they threaten the oil fields, according to the AP.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 16 2019 said:
    The United States has no reason to continue occupying part of Syria’s territory and oilfields in the Deir Ezzor region. Its presence there is a violation of both international law and Syria’s sovereignty.

    Not only President Trump has reneged on his promise to protect his allies the Syrian Kurds forces (SDF) from Turkey’s military onslaught but he now claims that he is defending Syria’s oil from ISIS when his country and Saudi Arabia have both created, supported, financed and armed ISIS to fight Syrian President Bashar Al Assad forces.

    Now President Trump is using ISIS as the excuse to continue occupying Syrian territory illegally for the purpose of stealing Syria’s oil, depriving the legitimate government of Syria of its own oil and continuing to stir trouble to prevent an end to the civil war there.

    It was Syria and Russia who came to the rescue of the Syrian Kurds from destruction by Turkey’s military onslaught. Soon the Turkish Kurds who control the bulk of Syrian oilfields would show their gratitude by returning them to their lawful owners. Moreover, Syria’s armed forces which managed to liberate the overwhelming majority of Syrian territory are more than capable of defending their oilfields from the likes of ISIS.

    Sooner or later Syria with support from its close and honourable ally Russia will recover its oil whether President Trump likes it or not. It will be Syria’s war of liberation against an ugly invader.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Steve Bull on December 16 2019 said:
    US 'protection' of oil...is that like when the US Empire 'protects' democracy by implementing regime change whenever an elected leader goes against the Empire's wishes??

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