Pentagon: Revenue From Syrian Oil Will Go to Kurdish SDF, Not US

Still no sign any US companies are willing to extract the oil

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters on Thursday that while the US continues to expand its presence in and around east Syria with an aim of protecting and controlling the oil fields, the US won’t be keeping the money.

The revenue from this is not going to the US, this is going to the SDF,” Hoffman said, suggesting the US-backed Kurds will get all the money. That’s still entirely speculative, however, because no US company has expressed any willingness to extract the oil in the first place.

It’s also not what has been sold to the US by President Trump. Trump has insisted that the US would be keeping some of the oil for itself, telling crowds recently that it would amount to $45 million a month and that it was always his intention to “keep the oil.”

Critics have warned that the US stealing oil would be illegal under international law, and while officials may hope giving the money to the Kurdish SDF will seem more palatable, it’s still appropriating Syrian natural resources and giving them to a US-backed group.

The Pentagon comments did not address the previous White House claims the oil would be kept by the US, nor has the White House addressed the difference in statement from the Pentagon.

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.