Kurdish Officials: US Troops at Syrian Oilfields Won’t Stop Turkish Invasion

US redeployment leaves 100 km 'gap' for Turkey to invade through

A Kurdish senior foreign affairs official, Aldar Xelil, reported that the US has assured Kurdish forces that US troops will remain in the oilfield area between Derik and Terbespiya, in eastern Syria.

This assurance doesn’t seem to be helping the Kurds feel a lot better, however. with Xelil pointing out that this really isn’t going to do anything to prevent the Turkish offensives into northeastern Syria.

The US announced a “pullout” from Syria but ended up just redeploying around the oil, with President Trump saying the oil is the priority. Xelil says the US has no intention of staying anywhere west of Qamilshli, and for the Kurds, that’s a problem.

The US is still in Syria, but there’s about 100 km gap between Syrian-held Syria and US-held oilfield where Turkey and its rebels are not only free to invade Kurdish-held territory, but to push potentially quite deep into Kurdish territory.

That the US presence isn’t helping the Kurds isn’t necessarily an oversight, but rather reflective of the administration’s shifting priorities, which have in Syria become extremely oil-centric.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.