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    Smoke is seen rising from the the burning leftovers of an oil refinery over oil fields near the oil rich city of Ramlan, on October 20, 2013 near the Syrian Kurdish town of Derik

    ‘Common Denominator’: US ‘Stealing’ Syria’s Oil Part of Longstanding Middle East Policy

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    Despite US President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw nearly all US troops from Syria, the Pentagon is now planning to send tanks and combat troops into eastern Syria, citing a need to allegedly protect Kurdish-controlled oil fields.

    Despite US President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw nearly all US troops from Syria, the Pentagon is now planning to send tanks and combat troops into eastern Syria, citing a need to allegedly protect Kurdish-controlled oil fields. 

    Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Tuesday that the US presidential administrations have historically attempted to “control” Syria and steal oil from the Middle East.

    “Anyone who covers the history of the US and Syria shouldn’t be [shocked]. The first coup by the CIA was 1949 … and that was in Syria, and it failed. And then the US went on to coups in Iran and other countries. Ever since then, every presidential administration has wanted to control Syria,” Zeese told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.

    “US President [Barack] Obama had the secret program, Timber Sycamore, that was made public,” Zeese told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker, referring to the classified weapons supply and training program that was run by the CIA and supplied money, weapons and training to rebel forces during the 2011 Syrian Civil War.

    “And Trump has pursued the same kinds of policies, and it’s resulted in mass destruction. Now, Russian intelligence shows that more than guarding the oil, the US is actually stealing the oil,” Zeese explained.

    On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry released satellite recordings that it said proved that the Kurds are extracting and smuggling Syrian oil out of the country “under the protection of US troops and the employees of US private military companies.” The oil was smuggled in tanker truck convoys, guarded both by US servicemen and the mercenaries of private military contractors (PMCs), the Russian ministry spokesperson said.

    ​“I guess that’s not surprising since Trump said, during his election campaign, that he thought it was absurd that the US didn’t take Iraq's oil,” Zeese said. “You can’t tell with Trump. Multiple times he said he wants to get out of Syria. Is that just for public consumption, and then in private he meets with his generals and decides to stay? Who knows what’s happening with this administration?”

    “But the US has wanted to control Syria for a long time and is going to seek to control Syria. When Timber Sycamore failed, they changed their strategy, taking over one-third of the country, and that was the oilfields area. That seems to be what they are pursuing now. The US wants to control Syria even more these days because of the Belt and Road initiative connecting China and Europe and Asia. That will move the power in the world toward China and away from the US empire,” Zeese explained.

    According to Kiriakou, US pillaging of oil in Syria is an international war crime that violates the Lieber Code - which was signed by former US President Abraham Lincoln to dictate how soldiers should behave in wartime - the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

    During a White House briefing on October 27, Trump outwardly discussed how US companies don’t even “have an advantage in getting the oil leases” in countries like Iraq.

    “I heard recently that Iraq, over the last number of years, actually discriminates against America in oil leases. In other words, some oil companies from other countries, after all we’ve done, have an advantage Iraq for the oil. I said, ‘Keep the oil.  Give them what they need. Keep the oil.’ Why should we — we go in, we lose thousands of lives, spend trillions of dollars, and our companies don’t even have an advantage in getting the oil leases. So I just tell you that story. That’s what I heard,” Trump said.

    “It’s a false rewrite of history. The US didn't go into Iraq on the invitation of Iraq and do any favors for Iraq. The US went into Iraq - we destroyed the country. We had their leader assassinated. Mass bombings. It’s still in chaos today. So it’s not like the Iraqis should be doing the US any favors by giving our corporations any cut rate on stealing their oil. Quite the opposite, Iraqis should be charging the US for destroying their country,” Zeese said.

    “Oil has been a common denominator, but the US is a big oil producer. We’re in the era of climate change. Oil is going to be diminishing. It’s now the US hanging on to its empire and doing it so openly and so brazenly that the revolt against the empire is growing rapidly,” Zeese added.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Donald Trump, US, Oil, Kurds, Syria
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