The U.S. will ensure that the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia) will never take control of the oil fields in northeast Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a statement on Thursday.“The oil fields discussed in my speech on Turkey/Kurds yesterday were held by ISIS (Islamic State) until the United States took them over with the help of the Kurds.
“We will never let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields,” Trump said via Twitter.
Trump suggested in a later tweet that Kurds should relocate to the “oil region” in Syria following Turkey’s incursion.
On Wednesday, Trump said a residual force of U.S. troops will remain in northeast Syria to protect the oil fields.
Senator Lindsey Graham in a statement said that U.S. control of the oil fields will prevent the Syrian as well as the Iranian government from using these oil assets to generate revenue.
Graham also suggested that increasing production of the oil fields would benefit the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and can possibly partly compensate the U.S. for its military assistance in Syria.
A senior Trump administration official said during a conference call on Wednesday that the U.S. will review and monitor how oil from these fields is sold.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in northeast Syria to clear the area of Kurdish and Islamic State fighters.
Turkey and the U.S. reached an agreement on Oct.17 on a 120-hour ceasefire in northeast Syria to allow for the withdrawal of the Kurdish forces.
As the five-day ceasefire ended, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached a deal late on Tuesday to pull the Kurdish fighters back and establish joint patrols in the safe zone in northeast Syria along the Turkish border.