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Some Kind of Mantra? Trump Sticks to ‘Keep the Oil’ Formula as He Justifies US Staying in Syria

by Tim Korso

The US has reportedly fortified its positions by the oil fields in north-eastern Syria despite the earlier decision to reduce its military presence in the Arab Republic and criticism from Moscow, which has called the American military deployment illegitimate.

US President Donald Trump has reiterated his earlier statements regarding Washington’s control of Syria’s oil fields, repeating the formula that the US should “keep the oil” at least six times in less than a minute during a speech during a surprise visit to Afghanistan on 28 November.

“We also started leaving [Syria] because it’s secure, but we didn’t leave totally – we kept the oil. Makes sense, right?” he stated.

POTUS bragged that the slogan he kept using throughout the part of his speech devoted to Syria had first been spoken by him during the US invasion of Iraq, but complained that no one listened to him back then. “They didn’t listen to me. I was a civilian. Now they have to listen”, Trump concluded.

The president once again assured that the profits from the Syrian oil fields are being transferred to the Kurds, who control the oil fields and fought with the US in its anti-Daesh* campaign.

“We kept the oil. And we kept it and we can help the Kurds, we can help our partners. We can have it developed. It’s where they got their wealth. It’s where they got their money. We kept it”, POTUS said.

Moscow has repeatedly criticised Washington’s decision to keep its troops stationed at major oil fields in Syria’s east and northeast instead of pulling out, calling it “illegitimate” and “destructive” for the country. The Kremlin insists that these areas should be controlled by the country’s government in Damascus.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in turn, likened the US approach to the Syrian oil fields to the policies of Nazi Germany, saying that Washington was simply stealing Syria’s crude reserves.

“The US is a state, based like any regime on gangs of bandits. The US president doesn’t represent the country, he is just an executive director of a company that has its board of directors, who represent other companies that it fact own the country”, Assad said.