Syrian Forces Arrive at Oil Field Claimed by President Trump

Syrian forces secure villages to keep Turkish invasion from going deeper

The Syrian Arab Army has been dispatched around the northeast Syrian province of Hasakeh, aiming to shore up defenses in villages around the area to try to prevent invading Turkey from pushing deeper into Syria beyond the already-claimed safe zone.

While this is unsurprising given Syria’s priorities in security this area, it potentially complicates America’s new war for Syria’s oil, with Syrian troops now in Mulla Abbas, putting them near one of the oil fields claimed by President Trump as an American-held field.

On Tuesday, this was uneventful, with US and Kurdish YPG forces at the site not opening fire on the Syrian military. At the same time, no one from any side is trying to extract oil yet, so as yet any contesting is purely theoretical.

While Syrian forces are reveling in the process of recovering territory that has been under Kurdish YPG control throughout much of the war, with an eye toward helping the Kurds defend the area from Turkey, that process is going to put more and more Syrian forces in the area around the oilfields.

That Syria wants a presence in the area is unsurprising, as it is both where the Turkish threat is, and along the border area with Iraq. At the same time, President Trump has claimed the fields, and has designs on taking the oil from them, which means any Syrian presence is going to potentially be seen as a threat to US ambitions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.