There was once a time when claiming a war was really about oil got you branded a conspiracy theorist. Now the US president just says it.
The Grayzone has an excellent new article out titled “US troops are staying in Syria to ‘keep the oil’ — and have already killed hundreds over it” detailing the many ways the Trump administration has openly admitted that it is keeping US troops in Syria to control the nation’s oil fields so that the Syrian government can’t use it to fund reconstruction efforts.
“We’ve secured the oil, and therefore a small number of US troops will remain in the area where they have the oil,” Trump said in a recent press conference. “And we’re going to be protecting it. And we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future.”
“We want to keep the oil,” Trump said in a cabinet meeting a few days earlier. “Maybe we’ll have one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly.”
“A purpose of those [US] forces, working with the SDF, is to deny access to those oil fields by ISIS and others who may benefit from revenues that could be earned,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper. As Grayzone’s Ben Norton accurately explains, “and others” necessarily means the Syrian government; preventing Assad from accessing Syrian oil is standing US military policy.