Measurement and Testing

  • Is Trump Targeting Syrian Oil?

Is Trump Targeting Syrian Oil?

Dec 01 2019 Read 250 Times

Despite concerns that exporting Syrian oil could be considered a war crime, President Trump is urging US companies to move forward with the takeover and harness natural resources within the war-torn country. While experts warn the United States doesn't have the legal capacity to seize control of oil fields, Trump recently confirmed that the redeployment of American troops to eastern Syria is not designed to support Kurdish allies, but to "secure the oil" and protect fields from Isis fighters.

The President also hinted at involving Stateside companies, suggesting that he is eyeing up Syria as a potential source of oil. "What I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an ExxonMobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly,” said Trump in a recent statement.

Trump accused of "looting" war-ravaged countries

Experts were quick to slam the President's comments, arguing that the United States doesn't have the power to infiltrate Syrian oil fields or reroute profits to the US Treasury. In a recent interview with The Independent, policy director at think tank organisation Defence Priorities accused the President of planning to "loot" and "pillage" war-ravaged countries.

"The president appears to believe that the US can sell the oil, based on his statements in the past about Iraqi oil and Libyan oil… thinking that we can loot countries,” says Benjamin Friedman, who is also an adjunct professor at the George Washington University. "I am sure people in the White House have tried to explain to him that is not how it works,” he told The Independent. 

"Taking the profits from the sale of Syrian oil for the US treasury would be illegal," he warns. "That would probably qualify as pillaging under the law," he adds, referring to the Geneva Conventions.

Experts urge Trump to leave Syria in the hands of Assad

Friedman says that instead of taking advantage of Syria, the United States should exit the country and leave it in the hands of the Assad regime. The US successfully assassinated the Isis leader and seized territory from the caliphate, now Friedman says President Assad and his government should lead the fight against terrorism, without interference from the United States.

“The Assad regime retaking power in Syria is the simplest way to suppress Isis – if that is the goal,” says Friedman. 

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