America steals oil from other countries

USA: "We'll keep the Syrian oil"

Guesswork on the reasons for an expensive, opaque and unpromising military action

Others should take care of the borders. "We'll keep the oil," said US President Trump at the end of October, "I like oil". US troops would be withdrawn from Syria, but American soldiers would also stay to secure Syrian oil.

Since then, experts have been wondering how the USA intends to do this in difficult terrain and why. It is obvious that the occupation of oil fields in a foreign state is contrary to international law and that the USA is thereby blocking the Syrian government from accessing valuable resources. The population is already suffering severely from the US sanctions on oil supplies, and next winter is just around the corner.

They want to make life as difficult as possible for the government in Damascus. This remains a constant in US policy on Syria. A constant of US policy in the Middle East is securing oil wells. But is it worth the effort for the Syrian oil fields?

Show of force and logistics

The recent movements of American military convoys, placed in a mysterious context, also have a provocative element. "Dozens of American military vehicles and empty trucks" are said to have driven along the M4 expressway. It is well known that the Syrian government is very keen to regain control of this highway, as well as the M5. If US military convoys drive there, it is also a show of force.

It is reported that the US military has picked up "remaining equipment" from their former military base near Kobane and the associated Sarrin airfield (according to information from the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the US military are rebuilding their bases there). In addition, the US is said to have carried out "several military patrols" near Qamishli, although Russian and Syrian forces are present in the immediate vicinity.

The German-language blog Flutterbareer explains this with the fact that the US troops want to maintain logistics routes in order to "support the construction of the American military bases in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor". The oil fields are also located there. Are these preparations for a longer US presence?

According to Kurdish sources, a US military convoy arrived in al-Qahtaniyah on Sunday, where they are on patrol with SDF forces. There is also an oil field near Qahtaniyah / Tirbesipye, in northeast Syria.

US armed forces repositioning

A spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) confirmed on October 31 that Bradley armored vehicles and troops had been brought to Deir ez-Zor. The repositioning of armed forces in Deir ez-Zor is being done in order to continue the partnership with the SDF in the fight against remaining IS militias in order to secure "critical infrastructure" and to deny IS access to sources of income, according to the official statement of the OIR- Speaker Col. Myles B. Caggins.

According to US Secretary of Defense Esper, quoted in the Military Times publication, US troops are expected to "remain below 1,000". There are still a small number of American soldiers in al-Tanf, in southern Syria, and a command center for special forces south of Kobane (Ain al-Arab). According to the aforementioned OIR spokesman, all military activities of the coalition have been agreed with other armed forces operating in the region.

CNN has also recently confirmed information that the number of 900 US troops "will remain in Syria for some time to come. The medium is known for not being on good terms with the US president and his policies," so the US military effort to "secure oil in Syria" is also sharply criticized.

Confusion

It was characterized by confusion, so the main message of the report, which is based on think tank experts and unnamed military representatives for the assessment and on an unnamed government representative for the information. The tone of general criticism of Trump's withdrawal plan prevails, as this is done to the advantage of Russia and Syria.

The decision to occupy the oil wells with remaining troops is seen as another act of a haphazard Syria policy. CNN has learned from its informants that there are no precise instructions for the US troops to secure the oil wells.

The commanders in Syria are grappling with a "confusion", specific questions are still unanswered. Examples are: Where exactly are the troops to be stationed? What will your accommodation look like? How are they supposed to patrol? What are the rules of engagement if they come into conflict with the Russian or Syrian military? Should other oil fields outside of Deir-ez-Zor also be "secured"?

Defense Minister Esper is quoted with his affirmative answer to the question of whether Russian and Syrian troops (who have the right to do so on their side) would also be denied access to the oil fields: "The short answer is yes (...) in this case we ensure that the SDF have access to the resources. "

There were already hints that the US wanted to retain the SDF with the military occupation of the oil wells - despite allowing the Turkish operation "Peace Spring" to go ahead. The credibility of such promises of support has suffered badly due to the behavior of the USA up to now. Is this a good motive for a "securing the Syrian oil wells", which is quite expensive and risky from a military point of view?

More plausible is the explanation given by the conservative US publication The National Interest is transmitted. Accordingly, the main thing is that Russia, Iran and Syria should not have any advantage from the absence of US military ...

Good business after all?

The CNN info is surprising, according to which Trump recently spoke to reporters of his considerations to make a deal with a US oil company that should go to Syria. The station's comment: "It remains unclear on what legal basis the US government would control and extract oil in Syria." Would the oil business be a motive for the US military operation?

The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Marija Sakharova, recently accused the United States of violating its own Syria sanctions by exporting and selling Syrian crude oil. Under the pretext of fighting ISIS, the United States would, in disregard of international regulations and democratic values, export crude oil worth an estimated 30 million US dollars.

How long can the US occupy the oil fields?

When asked what his position was on the US occupation of the Syrian oil wells, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad replied with a lengthy explanation. He indicated that a military attack against the superpower is not his option, one has to be realistic. He counts on a "patriotic resistance" with staying power against the occupier, who is ultimately robbing the USA of the possibility of remaining in Syria. Something like that was seen in Lebanon and then later in Iraq.

The French Syria expert and local expert Fabrice Balanche considers the idea that the USA and the SDF secure and exploit oil fields in Deir ez-Zor to be "nonsense". In Deir ez-Zor, the USA would have to rely on the help of the Arab militias of the SDF, which, however, can hardly offer any resistance against IS.

In Deir ez-Zor, IS cells would have an easy time attacking US forces ("Deir Ez-Zor is the kingdom of Daesh"), especially since the Turkish military operation has given them greater opportunities. How many US losses would the "Syrian Oil Securing" withstand? (Thomas Pany)

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