The United States may work out a deal on Syrian oil with local Kurds and withdraw the troops that guard the reserves, US President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday.
“We will make a determination. We will probably be dealing with the Kurds on the oil. We’ll see where it all ends up and will be out,” Trump said during a White House briefing.
The US troops, jointly with the Arab-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, maintain control over a part of northeastern Syria, concentrating around the oil and gas fields in the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor.
Trump first announced the possible deal last month.
The Syrian government has denounced the US presence there as a violation of its sovereignty and an illegal attempt to seize Syria’s natural resources.
In August, State Secretary Mike Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that a US oil firm had secured a deal to modernize oil fields in Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview to Sputnik called it “the most outrageous breach of all possible principles of the international law.”