Oil is and has always been the coveted wealth of the Middle East. The much-prized black gold, a relatively scarce resource in Syria compared to other countries in the region, has marked the evolution of some of the bloodiest conflicts of the 21st century. In this spiral of instability, a series of alliances have begun to be forged that could mark the region's future. The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Sunday condemned the agreement signed between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and a US oil company.
This agreement, which has been supported by the Trump Administration - as reported by the Syrian Foreign Ministry itself - constitutes "an aggression against the sovereignty" of this country. Likewise, the authorities loyal to the regime of Bachar al-Assad consider that this alliance is "a continuation of the hostile American approach towards Syria in the theft of the wealth of the Syrian people" and that its main objective is "to hinder the efforts of the state aimed at the reconstruction of what was destroyed by terrorism supported mainly by the American administration itself", they denounce in an official statement.
Syria considers this agreement "null and void" and has warned that these acts which it has defined as "despicable" reflect "the approach of these lackey militias" - referring to the SDF - who, they have pointed out, "accepted to be puppets of the American occupier". "These mercenary militias must realize that the brutal U.S. occupation will inevitably end and be defeated as the terrorist groups were defeated at the hands of the Syrian state," they have stated before assuring that only "genuine Syrians will be able to protect their wealth and preserve the unity of the territory and people of their country.
Syria was producing around 380,000 barrels of oil per day before the civil war broke out in 2011. However, the loss of control of some oil producing fields by Damascus and the sanctions imposed by the West have affected the energy industry very drastically. In October 2019, Pentagon chief Mark Esper, in a television interview on the CBS Face the Nation program, announced his final withdrawal from northern Syria. Even so, in recent months it has intensified its military presence in the northwest of the country, mainly to control bases in the Al-Hasaka area, especially facilities near oilfields. The majority of US troops in Syria have reorganized in the eastern region of the Arab nation since January 2020, where they currently control a large oil area.
The Turkish government has also reacted to this alliance, which it has defined as "illegal" and unacceptable. In an official statement to which the EFE news agency has had access, the Turkish Foreign Ministry assures that "an agreement to extract, process and market oil in the territory of northwest Syria has been signed between the Forces of Democratic Syria (FSD) and the U.S.-based company Delta Crescent Energy LLC, according to press reports".
Turkey believes that the FSD - who collaborated more than a year ago to defeat the Daesh terrorist group in its last stronghold of Al-Baghouz - are controlled by Kurdish militias called the People's Protection (YPG), which it calls terrorists. In this same statement, he criticizes the decision of the United States, alleging that it goes against international legality and that it "affects the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Syria, and falls within the framework of the financing of terrorism". In this scenario, the country led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the YPG of continuing "its separatist agenda" through the "appropriation of the resources of the Syrian people". Thus, in the Syrian conflict, which has been going on since 2011, Turkey confronts the Kurdish militias living in northern Syria, while the American nation supports them by considering them fundamental in the fight against Daesh.