“President Trump has executed a policy U-turn on Syria. He’s now tasking U.S. forces that he’d promised to withdraw from there with a new mission: securing the oil fields of southeastern Syria.”
“”We’re keeping the oil — remember that,” Trump declared on Monday at a gathering of police chiefs in Chicago. “We want to keep the oil. Forty-five million dollars a month? Keep the oil. We’ve secured the oil.””
“Trump was referring to oil fields in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province that Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces wrested from Islamic State insurgents in 2017. The area holds nearly three-quarters of Syria’s oil and gas reserves”.
“Standing by to second Trump’s pitch for exploiting Syria’s war-blasted oil fields was Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.”
“Defraying the cost of U.S. operations in Syria by selling that country’s oil — which happens to be state-owned property — strikes one expert on the spoils of war as highly dubious.”
“It makes quite a difference, [says James Graham Stewart, a law professor at the University of British Columbia.], whether the U.S. is securing Syria’s oil and protecting it for its true owners or taking it without the owners’ consent. “One would probably be more acceptable,” he tells NPR. “The other would be a war crime.””
Read more: If U.S. Takes Syrian Oil, It May Violate International Laws Against Pillage