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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