After announcing the withdrawal of US troops from northeast Syria, President Trump seemingly reversed course and announced that a contingent of troops would stay behind and secure oil fields in various parts of the country.
“We’re keeping the oil — remember that,” Trump said late last month. “I’ve always said that: ‘Keep the oil.’ We want to keep the oil. Forty-five million dollars a month? Keep the oil.” But as Vox's Alex Ward points out, the US military has other ideas.
Speaking to reporters this Thursday, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said that the US would not benefitting financially from Syria oil.
“The revenue from this is not going to the US. This is going to the SDF,” Hoffman said, referring to the Kurdish-led, US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces.
Ward later confirmed from a senior administration official that the SDF will be the "sole beneficiary" of the "sale of the oil from the facilities they control."
According to international law, stealing the natural resources of a country after it's been occupied is a war crime.
Watch Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan R. Hoffman and Rear Adm. William D. Byrne, Jr., vice director, Joint Staff, hold a press briefing at the Pentagon below: