Washington is not doing anything illegal by securing oil fields in Syria, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey told reporters on Friday.
“I have every belief that it is legal under international law”, Jeffrey said responding to whether he considers the US seizing the oil in the Arab republic legal under international law. “We are doing nothing illegal, the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] is continuing to work and control the fields as in the past, we will facilitate that work as part of our overall strategy towards Syria”.
Jeffrey also said that the US military will continue to support the Kurdish-led SDF in keeping the oil out of the reach of the Daesh* terror group.
When asked about the US long-term intention with the oil, Jeffrey said that under the Constitution it belongs to the people of Syria.
About 90 percent of Syrian oil reserves are concentrated to the east of the Euphrates River, the region that was previously a stronghold of the Daesh terror group and is now mainly controlled by Kurds allied with the United States.
In October, in the face of the Turkish cross-border offensive against the Kurdish militants, the United States initially withdrew its forces from northeastern Syria, but later announced that it would keep a small number of troops in the area to protect the oil fields. On 13 November, US President Donald Trump said that his government intended to retain control of the oil fields in northeastern Syria despite scaling down its military presence in the area.