America’s Oil Ambitions Threaten Syria’s Economy and Sovereignty

From the very beginning, America’s deceitful intervention in the Syrian conflict has produced heated discussions in the international community about the legality of the White House’s actions. A number of experts and political figures have repeatedly voiced the opinion that America’s military presence in Syria has no lawful basis, regardless of whether the America-led coalition participates in the fight against Islamic State.

Specifically, Washington’s desire to extract Syrian oil is a point of interest. Additionally, during one of his press conferences, Donald Trump announced the economic motives for American troops to participate in the Syrian conflict. This comes after a long period of official statements claiming clear victory over the Islamic State group.

According to official statistics regarding the Syrian economy, we can see the extent of the damage caused by the conflict and foreign intervention. For example, oil production used to play an extremely large role in the Syrian balance sheet, with 385,000 barrels produced per day. Now, the rate of production has decreased by a factor of 24, as a result of the conflict and economic crisis, as well as the simultaneous seizure of the largest oil fields in eastern Syria by American troops. In total, the Syrian economy has suffered losses of $400 million. According to the governmental advisory council, in the best-case scenario, the country’s oil production will return to its 2011 levels within five years.

It is worth mentioning that the American oil company Delta Crescent Energy LLC and the self-governed Kurds have signed a contract to extract oil from northeast Syria. However, not much is known about the company: It does not have any oil markets or refineries, but it does have a website. And the fact that it was founded by a former American functionary only serves to reinforce the theory that Delta Crescent Energy LLC belongs to the U.S. Defense Department.

This agreement indirectly confirms the White House’s insistence on maintaining troops in Syria, which constitutes a dangerous threat to the Arab nation’s sovereignty and safety. Using the Kurds, Washington will establish previously agreed-upon conditions for Kurdish independence, increasing the existing tensions between the largest ethnic groups in Syria. Thus, the U.S. has successfully created a regional ally by supporting the Kurds, who protect the oil fields.

From the perspective of oil companies with ties to the White House, American foreign policy in the Middle East has been successful. But the countries in which Washington interferes, driven by its thirst for oil, have suffered enormous economic losses and harm to their security. The Syrian economy suffers greatly from the ongoing conflict and Western sanctions, and the United States’ policy of antagonism will only exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

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