Tuesday 29 September 2020
News ID: 81391
Publish Date: 03 August 2020 - 21:55
ANKARA (Dispatches) -- Turkey on Monday blasted an agreement between Kurdish militants in Syria’s northeast and a U.S. oil company as "unacceptable” and equivalent to terrorism financing.
Senior Washington officials have confirmed that a U.S. oil company has signed an agreement with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to "modernize” oil fields under its control.
Syria already condemned the deal as "theft” and an "affront to (its) national sovereignty” on Sunday.
The SDF is a Kurdish paramilitary alliance that backs a semi-autonomous administration in northeastern Syria and controls the country’s biggest oilfields with the help of American forces.
The U.S.-backed SDF is made up of Syrian Kurdish militia forces which Turkey considers to be a "terror group” linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Turkish foreign ministry said the name of the U.S. company was Delta Crescent Energy LLC, according to press reports.
"We regret the U.S. support for this step that ignores international law and that targets Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the ministry said in a statement.
It considered the deal to be "the financing of terrorism” and "unacceptable.”
The foreign ministry accused Kurdish militants of advancing "its separatist agenda by confiscating, with this step, Syrian people’s natural resources.”
"Syria’s natural resources belong to Syrian people,” it added.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a longtime supporter of Kurdish militants, told Congress on

Thursday that he had spoken to SDF commander General Mazloum Abdi about the deal. Asked by Graham if the U.S. was supportive of the deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "We are.”
The U.S. support for YPG in Syria has become one of the stumbling blocks in bilateral ties between the two NATO allies.
The Turkish military has launched three incursions into Syria to fight Kurdish militants, who are crucial allies in facilitating U.S. and Israeli plans in the region.
On Sunday, a Syrian foreign ministry statement said Damascus "condemns in the strongest terms the agreement signed between Al-Qasd militia (SDF) and an American oil company to steal Syria’s oil under the sponsorship and support of the American administration”.
"This agreement is null and void and has no legal basis,” it said, adding that it was a violation of Syrian sovereignty.
Syria produced around 380,000 barrels of oil per day before a war was imposed on the country following Western-backed riots in 2011.
Damascus lost control of most oil producing fields in a stretch east of the Euphrates River in Dayr al-Zawr. Western sanctions have also hit the energy industry.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that despite a military pullback from northeast Syria, American forces would remain "where they have oil”. The Pentagon said late last year that oilfield revenues would go to the SDF.
Following Trump’s earlier insistence that his administration was solely interested in "keeping” Syrian oil, the U.S. military deployed mechanized military units to oil fields in the east of the country.
Nearly all of Syria’s main cities and towns are under government control, with foreign-backed terrorists who fought since 2011 to overthrow Assad now confined to a patch of territory near the Turkish frontier.
But Syria’s hopes of rehabilitation have been put on ice by new U.S. sanctions that will likely deter the investment the government needs to deliver on promised reconstruction.
According to experts, the U.S. is doing all it can to undermine the Syrian government’s ability to re-extend control over the country and rehabilitate its economy and Kurdish militants are just one of its tools to do so.

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